Saturday, August 4, 2018

Burnt Ends


5 lb Chuck Roast
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 C BBQ sauce
1/4 C Brown sugar
2 Tbl Brown sugar
1/2 C Coca Cola (maybe)


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

2.  Apply liberally the rub (Montreal) on all sides. 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.  The bark should be nice and dark.  Wrap the roast in either butcher paper or foil and return to the grill.

4.  At 195 degrees F (about an hour) removed the roast from the oven 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.  Reserve a couple of tablespoons for later. The original recipe does not call for any other additions, but I'm thinking add 1/2 C Coca Cola to keep the meat moist (on my first attempt I didn't have any Coca Cola (do not use Diet Coke), so I added about 1/4 - 1/2 C beer), toss to coat all the pieces. Cover with foil.

5.  Place the pan on the grill, close the lid and cook for an additional hour to hour and a half 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 fw 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, (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
2 C    Very Hot Water (not to exceed 130 degrees F)


Flour in a bowl, add yeast and salt, 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). When ready, slather some olive oil across the top and 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.).

Remove the dough ball onto a floured surface and 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, drop the dough on the parchment and let it sit aside until you get you oven ready.

Dutch ovens are perfect for this. They create the high humidity inside that makes the bread bake perfectly. Others can be used, just need to make sure whatever you use has a lid.

Put the Dutch oven inside the baking oven until it reaches 450 degree F (500 works as well, but mine doesn't go that high).  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, 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 - 200 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.

Simply Smoked Ribs and Bread

It seems there as many ways to prepare ribs as there are ribs. I've read too many to remember, I've watched others grilled, roasted, smoked on tv, and I've tried quite a few as well. Yesterday, with two racks to prepare, I was browsing through the Traeger Recipes and found one, much simpler than all the rest: no mops; no smoke for 3 hours, wrap in foil for two more and  one more without the wrap; no exotic rubs, sauces, or overnight marinades (which always seems to make the ribs taste like ham).

Nope, just this:

When ready, set the temperature at 225 degrees F, place the ribs meat-side up on the rack for 2 hours, then turn them over for one more.  Let them rest for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy. That's it.

All I added to that method was some of our favorite rub and some bbq sauce slathered over them with about 20 minutes to go.

Moist, tasty, good.

Earlier in the day, I baked up a couple loaves of bread to go with the ribs.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Smoked Tri-Tip

What can we say, is there anyone who doesn't enjoy a nice, moist, tri-tip steak once in a while? 

  • Tri-Tip Steak: 3-6 lbs
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

Remove steak from wrapper.

Wipe excess moisture with paper towel.

Spread the Montreal Steak Seasoning liberally on both sides of the meat.

When ready, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire in established (4-5 minutes).

Place the meat on the grate on the smoker setting and leave it for 45 minutes to allow the smoke to penetrate the meat and create the desired smoke-ring.

Turn the temperature to 250 degrees F and continue cooking until the temp reaches 135 degrees F.

At 135 degrees (about an hour, begin checking at about 40 mins), remove the meat, cover with foil, and turn the temperature up to 450 - 500 degrees F.

Once temperature is reached, place the meat back on the grill for 4 minutes, each side.

Remove, let rest for 10 - 15 minutes, slice against the grain, and enjoy.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Smoked Chicken Thighs - Traeger Style


  • Chicken Thighs
  • A Binder for the Rub: Zesty Italian Salad Dressing.
  • Your favorite Rub

Trim the thighs, I like to remove as much loose fat as possible without taking the skin with it.

Slather the thighs with a binder for the rub. I always use Zesty Italian Salad Dressing.

Apply the rub liberally, I recently found a rub with no salt at Costco.  It has been good enough to reuse often.

Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Once the fire is established, move the temperature to 250 degrees F.

Place the thighs directly on the grill and cook until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. About 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove, cover with foil.

Raise the Traeger temperature to 450 degrees F then place the thighs back on the grill each side for 4 to 5 minutes to get the skin crisp.

Remove, cover tightly, let rest for 5 - 10 minutes, the enjoy.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Eggs on Avocado and Toast

We came across this simple and easy recipe on Pinterest.  Hungry and trying to think of something "new and different," we found this easy to put together little snack on Pinterest. It made a perfect brunch.

Simply do this:  toast a piece of multi-grain bread, spread a bit of avocado mixed with just enough cottage cheese to give a smooth consistency, a few drops of lemon juice, layer one over-easy, sunny side up egg atop, sprinkle with crushed pepper and a bit of sea salt.