Thursday, March 5, 2020

No-Knead Sesame-Havarti Bread


     13    oz warm tap water
     1.5   tsp Salt
     1.25 tsp instant yeast (red star quick rise)
     3.5   C bread flour (enriched unbleached wheat)
     1      C havarti cheese grated
     2       tbl sesame seed
     2       tbl extra virgin olive oil


     Put mixing bowl in microwave on high for one minute

     Mix water, salt, yeast, stir gently. Add flour, stir shaggy ball status
           add cheese, stir into the ball (use a wooden spoon handle for the stirring)

     Proof (1st Rising):  cover and place in oven with oven light on for
          1.5 hours or until dough has doubled.

     Pre-heat empty Dutch Oven at 450 - 500 degrees:
          reduce to 430 for final bake. 

     Prep for 2nd Rising:
          Place parchment paper in large skillet, spray with no-stick

          Prep the dough for 2nd Rising:
               De-gas the dough (punch it with spoon handle).
               Place on lightly doughed surface, pull and stretch, add sesame
                    seeds if desired
               Form into ball, put on parchment paper in skillet
               Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 mins.

          Pick up parchment with dough and place inside the preheated Dutch Oven
          Slice across the dough to create a nice crust crack, brush a light layer of extra
               virgin olive oil, and a light sprinkle of flour
          Place in oven at 400 degrees, put lid on the Dutch Oven.

          At 30 mins check for appearance. If the crust isn't dark enough,
                remove the lid and continue baking in ten minute increments
                     for desired color.

     Remove, let cool, slice, add butter, enjoy!!!!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

First introduced to Buffalo Wing Chicken in, of all places, Buffalo, New York, in 1986, we've been enthusiastic consumers ever since.

We are also big fans of authentic Mexican food, not the Americanized versions you find in the brick and mortars. We enjoy burritos and authentic street tacos.

After watching the Netflix series, The Taco Chronicles, it occurred to me it wouldn't be difficult to fuse these items, Buffalo style chicken and tacos.  And it wasn't.


chicken (I used thighs)
cilantro (chopped)
salsa (see my recipe below)
feta cheese dressing
corn tortillas (used almost exclusively throughout Mexico)


I wanted the chicken grilled bringing the flavor as close to possible to authentic flavoring.

Chop the cilantro

Spread the Feta Dressing, or Ranch

Layer the salsa over the top (unpictured).



3 or 4 tomatoes chopped
3 jalopenos (2 deseeded)
2 garlics

blend, chill, serve

Monday, April 8, 2019

Pork Chops with Apricot Glaze

Leave your guests wanting more with the simple recipe for some drop-dead pork chops incorporating a blend of ingredients you might not have thought of:  butter, apricot jam, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.


  • Pork Chops
  • Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Your favorite rub
  • Couple thick slices of butter from the end of the cube
  • 1/4-1/3 C apricot jam
  • 2 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
  • A dollop of honey

  1. Turn the Traeger on "smoke," or 180 degrees, lid open, for 4-5 minutes, then closed for 15.
  2. Combine the butter, apricot jam, honey, and Worcestershire sauce on low heat, stir until blended.  
  3. Slather a thin layer of spicy brown mustard over the chops, then liberally sprinkle your favorite rub over them then pat it in. 
  4. Place the chops on the grill and let them "smoke" for 20 - 30 minutes, internal temperature 130 degrees: cherry, hickory, or oak. 
  5. Remove and cover the chops with aluminum foil.
  6. Increase the grill temperature to High - 450 degrees.
  7. Cook for approximately 10 - 15 mins, or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees. 
  8. With 4-5 minutes to go, slather the chops, both sides, with the apricot/Worcestershire sauce. 
  9. Remove chops from pan and let rest 5 minutes; the internal temperature will rise to a finished temperature of 145

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pulled Pork

Off the shelf: 4 lb. pork butt, fat removed and layered
across the top for the smoking.
We found this recipe for pulled pork on the recipe site. What got our attention was the ease of the procedure and the promise of something "new and different."


1 (6 to 9 lb) Pork Shoulder/Butt
2 C  Apple Cider
Aluminum Foil


Start the smoker (Traegar)  on "smoke" for 4-5 minutes with the lid open. Set the temp at 250 and preheat, lid closed for 10 - 15 mins.

Trim excess fat off the meat.  Generously season with your favorite rub, here's a link to mine, on all sides of the meat.

Place the meat directly on the grill and cook until the internal temperature in the fattest part is 150 degrees (about 3 hours - give or take). Remove from the smoker.

Stack 4 layers of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the meat on all sides. Pour the apple cider (or beer, or coke - not diet - or whatever you prefer) over the meat and foil all sides creating a leak-proof seal.

Replace on the grill, still at 250 degrees, and cook until the internal temperature in the fattest part of the meat is 204 degrees, another couple of hours, or so, depending on the size of meat and weather.

Remove from grill and allow 45 mins for the meat to rest while still wrapped.

Open the foil, pour off the juices into a fat separator, place the meat in a dish large enough to pull it apart with a pair of forks, remove and discard the bone, if any, and excess fat.  Add the separated liquid back to the meat and season to taste with additional rub,  mix, and if you wish, add a few dollops of your favorite bbq sauce, mix again.

Serve either alone, in one of your favorite recipes, or as a sandwich on fresh hamburger buns.

Leftover pulled pork can be stored in the refrigerator, in sealed container, for up to 4 days.


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Burnt Ends

Poor Man's Burnt Ends - Chuck Roast


5 lb Chuck Roast
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 C BBQ sauce
1/4 C Brown sugar
1/4 C Coca Cola, beer, apple juice, beef broth, your choice 


1.  Preheat your oven/smoker at 225 degrees F.  If smoking, hickory wood works well, pecan may be better. 

2.  Apply liberally the rub. When the temperature is right, place the roast on the grill and close the lid.

3.  Cook until the internal temp is 165 degrees F.  This took two hours on my Traeger smoker at 275 and they weren't quite as tender as I wanted at the end, so I'm recommending the longer, slower cook at 225 degrees F. for the next time.  Continue cooking until 195 degrees, either exposed, or after wrapping in foil.  Back on smoker for another hour/give or take until . . . 

4.  At 195 degrees F. remove the roast and let rest for 15 - 20 minutes. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes and place in a foil baking pan.  Add 1/4 C brown sugar and drizzle with most of the BBQ sauce. The original recipe does not call for any other additions, but I'm thinking to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup Coca Cola (never diet coke), or beef broth, apple juice, or whatever you like, to keep the meat moist. Cover with foil.

5.  Place the pan on the grill, close the lid and cook for an additional 60 - 90 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cubed bits are falling apart tender.

6. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the remaining BBQ sauce, stir and return to the grill for just a few more minutes until everything is well incorporated.

Serve hot as a main course.

Recipe modified from on found at

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Simple "Almost No-Knead Bread," Updated.

The large loaf has 4 cups of flour, the other one had 3
and the same recipe, only smaller portions.
I love to bake bread. Maybe because in my biological studies the process of fermentation fascinated me. How tiny organisms, a fungus, yeast, can turn sugar (glucose) into CO2 and alcohol (C2H5OH - ethanol), and feed with world is an incredible feat. The CO2 bubbling through the dough gives it that sponginess, and that sweet odor - it's the trace amounts of alcohol being released. The same reaction is responsible for beers and wines,(different species of yeast - no flour please).

This recipe is an update on one that went viral, thanks to Mark Bittman of the New York Times Food Section, some years ago (the main difference - the Hot Water).  Here's a link to that Youtube.


4 C        flour (any kind)
1/2         tsp yeast
1 1/2      tsp salt
1 1/2 C  Very Hot Water (not to exceed 130 degrees F)


Flour in a bowl, add yeast and salt, stir, then the water.

Stir until you get a "shaggy" ball. No kneading - stir with a large spoon (mine's made of wood).

Cover bowl with Saran and let sit at least 3 hours on the counter (you can go 4, 5, 6 or more if you want).

Remove the dough ball and place onto a floured surface. With a few moves (I use a scraper like those for picking up chopped veggies) flop the ball around to make another ball - no need to knead.

Spread some parchment paper over a skillet or bowl, drop the dough on the parchment and let it sit aside until you get you oven ready. About 30 mins.

Dutch ovens create high humidity (steam) inside that makes the bread bake perfectly. Others can be used, just need to make sure whatever you use has a lid with no plastic for the baking oven.

Put the Dutch oven inside the baking oven: pre-heat to 450 degree F.  (The loaf you see above I baked on my Traeger at 450 - ish.)

Carefully drop the dough, parchment paper included, into the hot Dutch oven, cover with the lid, slather some olive oil across the top, sprinkle it with with a bit of flour, some fresh chopped rosemary and sea salt (or whatever else you might like to sprinkle there - cheese(s), chopped olives, etc.).and put in the oven at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.

At 30 minutes remove the lid.  The temperature of the bread should be about 195 - 210 degrees F, and the crust nicely browned. If you want more brown, and I always do, leave it in the oven, without the lid, for 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove, let cool, slice and enjoy.  Keeps, tightly covered for about 3 days.