Saturday, November 30, 2013

"The New and Improved Smoked Turkey and Dressing"

The smoked turkey came into my life shortly after purchasing a Traeger smoker a few years ago.  This year (Thanksgiving, 2013), I feel like I finally got it 'right,' and I want to record the event here for anyone, myself included, who may want to benefit from the experimentations that have proceeded this post.

To begin, order a fresh bird a few weeks in advance.  Next year I would like to order one that has no injected salts; but the difficulty involved may outweigh any negatives possibly associated with the injected variety.  I have read that if one brines a bird already injected, one will end up with an overly salted bird.  We didn't detect that this year even though I brined the already injected bird.

Click here for the Smoked Turkey

Click here for the Dressing

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme"


In the never-ending quest for "something new and different" on our dinner plates, I found this one at Simply Recipes and gave it a try.  The lady I live with has a very conservative, and midwest I might add, pallette, so I figured she would only give it a cursory try.  She liked it.

photo taken with my android phone

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Kentucky Pecan Pie"

 
Who doesn't like pecan pie during the holidays?  When I was a little guy, we had a friend, Mrs. Creewal (sp), who loved making pies and since she and her husband were good friends of my mom and dad, she made pies for us.  Back then, my dad and I loved her chocolate pie; but just as good - was the pecan.

My wife has a couple of pecan pie recipes, so we took some ideas from them, especially the "Kentucky Pecan Pie" recipe, and brought a few in from the web, and here is our new recipe.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Ingredients:

1.5 C White Corn Syrup
1.5 C Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tube Melted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
5 eggs, slighty beaten
1 1/4 C chopped pecans
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust

Procedure:

Combine syrup, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla
Mix well
Add eggs, continue mixing.
Pour into 9" unbaked pie shell.
Position whole pecans in a pattern over the top.
Bake at 375degrees for 20 mins.
Place foil around pan to protect dough edges
Continue baking for another 20 - 25 mins.

Let cool and serve.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Pan-Fried Cajun Catfish and Tartar Sauce"

We found the recipe in the Food Section of our local newspaper and decided since it looked quick, easy, and tasty to give it a try.  To the fish and tartar we added a glop of coleslaw and a glass, or two, of some chardonnay and had a spendid time at dinner.


Makes 4 servings.  Prep time: 10 minutes.  Cooking time: less than 20 mins.

Ingredients:

4    6 ounce catfish fillets, or something close (we used two 8oz fillets)
2     tsps Cajun seasoning
1/8  tsp coarse salt
1/2  cup low-fat mayonnaise, or Miracle Whip
1     tbs sweet pickle relish
1     tbs minced onion
1     tbs rinsed capers
1     tsp hot pepper sauce
1/4  tsp dried oregano

Instructions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high.  Sprinkle fish evenly with Cajun seasoning and salt.  Add 2, or 3, fillets to pan; cook 4 minutes per side or until opaque throughout. Remove from skillet; keep warm.  If you have more fillets, wipe the skillet clean with paper towels; repeat procedures.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, relish, onion, capers (we didn't have capers - and we're not sure, but we don't think we missed them), pepper sauce and oregano;  mix well.  Serve with fish.

Per serving: 219 calories, 28 grams protein, 7 grams fat (29 percent of cals from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 22 milligrams cholesterol, 511 milligrams sodium, no fiber.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Pecan Smoked Canadian Bacon and Pineapple"

I'm becoming convinced that home-made pizza is far superior to any pizza not made at home.

This "Pecon Smoked Canadian Bacon and Pineapple" pizza recipe came from Pillsbury. It calls for using their Pillsbury regrigerated classic pizza crust; but I used the bulk pizza dough I purchased from a local grocer. It is much better, and is a cinch to prepare as it has nothing but flour, yeast and water as ingredients as opposed to all those "other things" you find in theirs.


Ingredients:

3 1/2 C all purpose flour, or pizza flour
2 1/4 tsps dry yeast
1 C water
1 can pineapple shunks in unsweetened jujice, well drained on paper towels.
Canadian bacon, or pepperoni - enough to cover the pizza.
1/2 C thinly sliced red onion
1/2 C chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C shredded Cheddar cheese (2oz)
1/2 C shredded mozzerella

Directions:

One hour prior to cooking the pizza, mix the flour, yeast and water. Let sit for an hour, then remove approximately 1/3rd of the dough ball prior to spreading it on either a cookie sheet, or in our case, a baker's stone. We could cut the recipe, but it much easier not to and then to remove this third. It makes good "elephant ears," for a dessert.

Heat the oven, or smoker, to 425 degrees. I used Pecan pellets for the smoke.

Spray the stone with Pam, and spread the dough to the edges. I like to turn the edges up in order to hold whatever melted cheese that may accumulate.

Top the dough with provolone cheese, cutting to fit. Arrange Canadian bacon or pepperoni, pineapple, onion and bell pepper over provolone cheese to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, then mozzerella.

Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the crust turns a deep golden brown.

Cut into 8 servings and serve.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Mushroom and Onion Pizza"

I love mushrooms and have been wanting to create a mushroom pizza since I learned the basics of making pizza. This one was a lot of fun to put together, and I would argue it may be one of the best pizzas, if not the best, I have ever eaten.

Ingredients:

salt and pepper
1 tbsp rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped (2 or 3 stems with leaves stripped)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 onion , large size, cut into rings
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups mushrooms
3 1/2 C pizza flour
1 tbsp yeast
1 C water

Directions:

Make the pizza dough by adding the flour, yeast and water together, mix, and let sit for one hour.

In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat, add garlic, mushrooms and stir for 1 minute.

Rub onion slices to get onion rings, and in another skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add onion rings and stir-fry until golden brown (10-12 minutes), then add vinegar and cook for another minute. Add salt and pepper.

Spread the dough on a slightly floured surface. I use a baker's stone, but a pizza pan will work equally well.

Add mushrooms and caramelized onions. Sprinkle rosemary then mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Heat oven to 425-450F

Bake pizza in oven for 10-15 minutes.

Remove and add the fresh thyme across the top.

Slice and serve immediately

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Breaded Italian Green Beans"

Adapted from this recipe, found at Food.com, this dish has proven quick, easy, and very tasty as a side for just about anything you want to side it up against. In this case we added it to a plate of grilled pork steak, and some fresh fruit salad; but it would go fine with chicken, steak, or fish.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C fresh green beans
2 Tblsp butter
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C Italian style bread crumbs

Directions:

1. Put green beans in a non-stick frying pan at medium heat.
2. Add the minced garlic and butter and sautee for 10 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and toss the beans with teh bread crumbs until coated.
4. Serve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Diego's Gourmet Chicken Pizza*

In our quest to find meals that represent something new and different, we have been experimenting with pizzas lately. This one was easy to put together, taking a total of about an hour which excludes the amount of time needed for the yeast to prepare the dough. We will definitely have this pizza again!

Ingredients

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 1/2 C pizza crust flour (I purchase it in bulk)
2 1/4 tsps dry yeast
1 C water
1/2 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onions

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.Place chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, and juices run clear. Cool, then either shred or chop into small pieces.
3. Mix pizza dough, water, and yeast, let sit for one hour then spread to the edges of a pizza pan, or stone (I use the stone).
4.Spread ranch dressing over the dough. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Place tomatoes, green onion, and chicken on top of mozzarella cheese, then top with Cheddar cheese.
5. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

* This recipe adapted from one found at allrecipes.com. You can find it here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Diego's Bloody Mary Mix

I enjoy a nice cold glass of tomato juice, but sometimes it seems rather bland and lifeless; so I started experimenting and came up with something with a little "kick" to it. I enjoy this drink in a glass of ice, and I especially enjoy it when it's blended about half and half with a nice vodka.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredient:

1 qt tomato juice
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 C Worcestershire
3 tsp horesradish, extra hot
1/2 tsp Mexican hot sauce, extra hot - or suitable substitute

Method:

Mix, fridge, drink.

Pepperoni/Veggie Pizza

I remember when pizza was something few people knew about, let alone ate. Then back in the '50's, or '60's, a company by the name of "Jeno's" began selling boxes of pizza ingredients in the grocery stores and people began trying it out. There was absolutely no place to go buy a pizza: no "Pizza Hut," no "Round Table Pizza," nothing, nada, zilch.

A few months ago I took a class in low-temp, slow, cooking and the instructor spent just a brief amount of time on building pizzas. I had never thought much about making one, but since the class I've been thinking about it; so I went to one of those big-box stores where they sell pizza flour in bulk and purchased about 4 or 5 cups worth, picked up a few of the other ingredients, brought it all home and got busy.

Read more about this potentially award winning pizza here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"How to Cut Up a Chicken"

I've been thinking about our "hurry-up" world lately and how it offers thousands of products that have already been "processed" in some way, for our convenience, things like: sliced bread, shrink-wrapped fireplace wood, whole dinners in the frozen food section,julienned green beans, guacamole salsa, chicken thighs, chicken wings, chicken gizzards, etc., etc., etc.

That got me thinking about how my mother used to cut up a whole chicken and fry the whole thing in grease spooned out of a can in the cupboard; and that got me to wondering how the heck does one cut up a whole chicken without the pieces looking like they were produced with a chain saw; and that got me to thinking how much more simplified our world has become by using that new verb, "google."

Anyway - To see the vidio on how to cut a chicken quick, clean, and in less than 4 minutes, check out "HOW TO..." in the right hand column --->

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Pork Loin with Madeira and Mushrooms"

After watching "Cooks Country" on television I became interested enough to go to their website, register, order the magazine and see what unfolded.

In the magazine small, quicky recipes, are offered up in a "rip them out along the dotted line" format and that's where I found this recipe; so it is adapted from "Cooks Country," and it was quite good eats.

Read more about this recipe here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Fricassee de Poulet A L'Ancienne" aka: "Old Fashioned Chicken Fricassee with Wine-flavored Cream sauce, Onions, and Mushrooms"

This is a recipe I found in Julia Child's book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Yes, after seeing the movie, "Julie and Julia," I had to go get one at Costco. I know most guys probably didn't get into the movie like I did, but I'm a blogger and Julie was a blogger, and I like good food and Julia knew how to prepare some damn good food. They both had me with the purchase of the ticket.

The problem with this one though is this: the recipe is long and involved; so long and involved that it took the two of us about 2 - 2 1/2 hours to complete. I don't know how anyone could make this dish alone. Two hands are not enough.

Maybe someday I'll post the recipe here; but in the mean time, if you're interested you can google it and get some pretty close renditions out there in cyberspace. I looked, most of them leave out the preparation of the wine-flavored cream sauce, onions, and mushrooms.

And, by the way, this meal was TERRIFIC!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Cilantro Based Salmon Paste"

This last Sunday we had our kids and grandkids over for Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon . We hadn't had it a while, so I thought it might be a treat, and it was.

One reason is that I found a salmon paste to dab on bite size pieces and it was highly received. I wasn't sure how it would go since it one primary ingredient is "olive oil, or some other type of flavorful oil that complements your recipe." I used extra-virgin oil.

Ingredients

1 1/2 C fresh cilantro (lightly chopped)
10 - 12 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
3/4 C oil (olive oil, or some other type of favorful oil that complements your recipe.

Method

In a food processor, combine the cilantro and salt. Process until the cilantro is finely chopped. Add the oil in a slow stream, mixing thoroughly. The paste should be refrigerated and used within a day or two.

I also added a teaspoon of lime juice.

At first, it had a highly "oily" taste, but after spending a couple hours in the refrigerator, it was tasty and aded a nice flavor to the fish. This paste "made the grade," and will be prepared any time we eat salmon in the future.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Creole Sauteed Corn"

Cooks Country Magazine published this recipe in their recent August/September issue and I thought it looked like it would go great with some grilled chicken I have planned for dinner tonight. My aunts Dot and Fern are from Oklahoma visiting my mother, so I think they will like this side-dish.

The recipe calls for corn, bacon, scallioins, bell pepper, clove, parsely, thyme and just a touch of hot sauce.

I put it together earlier in the day and the first few spoonfuls were very flavorful.

Read more about this recipe here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Jim's Famous Hamburger"

We decided to do something different with a hamburger tonight, so in order to "pull it off," I went to my favorite recipe site, "Simply Recipes."

Immediately "Jim's Famous Hamburger" popped up and my real name being, Jim, I clicked on the link and had a look.

It looked good: rosemary; A-1 Steak Seasoning, with thick slices of avocado, tomato, and onion; with mayo, mustard, and catsup (to taste of course).

The only ingredient we didn't have was fresh rosemary, so my wife jumped down to the grocer (actually she drove down because she had a few other items to pick up) and brought some home.

The recipe called not only for a couple heaping tablespoons of chopped rosemary, but also a couple tablespoons of A-1 Steak Seasoning which we found a bottle of in the fridge. We have no idea how long we have had it because we never use the stuff.

After we got it all mixed and formed and grilled and eaten, we agreed these were probably the best grilled burgers we have ever had. Really! If you would like the full recipe, you can find it here, at Elise's site, Simply Recipes.

I didn't get a photo of the burger. Darn. They were so good; so I posted my hamburger sketch from flickr here instead. Maybe next time I'll get a honkin' good photo of these bad boys.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Tomato - Mango Salsa"

We discovered mangoes last April when at a friend's in Marathon, Florida. She grows them, along with bananas, pineapples and other exotic fruits we don't have here in Washington state. We are so new to them that we don't know yet if they are available during the winter months. Seems reasonable though they would be since they are grown in the tropics. I guess we'll find in a few months though, right? But then we have tomatoes during the winter months - hard, tasteless tomatoes also grown in the tropical zones.

Anyway, since we now have fresh tomatoes coming on, and the mangoes are REALLY delicious right now, especially the ones we bought at a new Mexican grocer in our town a couple days ago. So I went on line, found some mango - tomato salsa recipes, then put my own together from all the data I collected.

Read more about Diego's "Tomato-Mango Salsa."

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Diego's Tomato-Cotija Cheese Salad"

With a plate of home-grown tomatoes sliced over shredded ice-berg lettuce, and sprinkled with shredded cotija (ko-tee'-huh) cheese, chopped cilantro, and drizzled with a touch of ranch dressing, and a big ol' glass of iced tea, and you can enjoy any summer day, no matter the temperature outside.

I found the cotija cheese in a mexican grocery in Pasco, WA. It's a new one near the Blue bridge and very clean! They have tons of this cheese I had never heard of so I asked what it was and how to use it in Mexican dishes. Authentic mexican food calls for this rather than cheddar. If you can't find cotija, try guyere, or if nothing else, cheddar. Crumbled Blue cheese would work too, but I found the cotija - perfect.

Very refreshing!

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Cucumbers, Peppers, and Onions"

One of our favorite summer dishes is my wife's, "cucumber, peppers, and onions." We aren't sure how the recipe found its way into our collection; but we think it was probably my mom who gave it to us - or maybe we got it from a magazine, or a cookbook with a red cover with white lines running at perpendicular angles. Doesn't really matter though, because this little side-dish provides a full and refreshing taste during long, hot, summer months.

Read more about this delicious treat, here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon" *

When I was a kid living in the panhandle of Texas, the only time we had salmon was when my mom would make patties out of canned salmon and fry them in a skillet. It wasn't until I was in my forties, when we moved to the west side of Washington state, that we discovered the real taste of fresh salmon.

My next door neighbor in Sequim, WA., and I, used to do a bit of king salmon fishing. It was then I learned there is no comparison between salmon that was swimming in the Straits of Juan de Fuca an hour ago to the salmon we now purchase in Costco; but we have discovered a menu from McCormick that really levels the difference.

The marinade is made of honey, ginger, orange juice and soy. Read more about it here.