Ribs – on the grill

It was hubby’s birthday so I grilled for his birthday supper.  He wanted ribs.  Here’s how mine are done – it may not be your method but it’s the way he likes his!  Fall off the bone tender, and oh so flavorful!  I did try a new method this time.  I usually dry rub mine and let the dry rub sit on them for a couple of hours prior to grilling.  This method, like a lot of grillers, called for a pre-marinade, and then dry rub for an hour or two.   For the marinade, you can use either apple cider or apple cider vinegar with the juice of one lemon (make sure you have trimmed your ribs of the silverskin and any loose pieces of bits) and make sure the ribs are just covered with liquid – let soak in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.  Then remove from marinade, and dry off with paper towels.   Apply dry rub of your choice and rub in – refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Then grill! – our grill has a smoker tray of which I placed my soaked wood chips in – I cut all burners on high to heat the grill – when the wood chips started smoking, I cut off the side without the chips, and cut down the side with the chips to medium.  I placed the ribs  meat side down to begin with, on the side with no heat.  I then basted the ribs every thirty minutes with cider and rotated and turned the ribs for even cooking.  Mine cooked for 2 1/2 hours (this is determined by the size and meatiness of the ribs).  I then like to wrap my ribs in foil for another 30 minutes to 45 minutes to finish cooking and tenderizing.  If you like a bit of crispyness or plan on brushing on bbq sauce, just remove from foil, place on fire side (cut up flames if need be) and baste and turn over and baste again to get crisp sides. Hubby liked them cause he went back for seconds!

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For my rub, I generally use:

couple teaspoons kosher salt

2 heaping Tbsp  splenda brown sugar

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

You can alter, add other ingredients, to the above, and adjust the amounts of the seasonings to your liking.   And there are a lot of already mixed rubs in the stores that are good.

I had some Chicken Kabobs for me and used the same seasoning on the chicken and it was so good!  So it is a very versatile rub.

I love using the grill in the hot summer months!  Let us know what you are grilling these days!

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Sausage-Cheese Wonton Cups

Made these this weekend after finding this recipe in a magazine and knew we had to try them……

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Everyone seemed to like them….and I just realized I left off the garnish… chopped green onion sprinkled on top.  Maybe it was a good thing in this case I did.  I made these for our Sunday School class and several went on to sing in the choir.  Onions and singing next to someone may not mix very well.  Onions and singing out in the congregation may not mix well, either.  When you make these (and believe me, they are easy and would make a good football-watching item – the possibilities are endless with this one!) use the garnish – it would add another layer of flavor.

Sausage-Cheese Wonton Cups

1 lb pork breakfast sausage

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (can use more if want – I used about 3/4 to 1 tsp)

1/8 tsp ground red pepper ( I used about 1/4 tsp-we like a little more heat)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

24 wonton wrappers

Garnish:  Chopped green onions (I forgot to sprinkle these on top – bet it would have looked pretty!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium skillet, combine sausage, cumin, and red pepper; cook over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly.  In medium bowl, stir together sausage mixture, cheese, and sour cream.  Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan (or 2 12-cups) with nonstick cooking spray.  Fit wonton wrappers into muffin pan to form cups; spray cups with cooking spray.  Divide sausage mixture among cups.  Bake for 10 minutes or until wonton wrappers are lightly browned.  Garnish with green onion, if desired.

Possible other combos for these:  1- use turkey sausage instead to lighten up the recipe.  2. Brown ground beef and season with the same seasonings, , use a Mexican blend of cheese, chop a  jalapeno pepper and add when browning the beef, and once baked- top with a dab of sour cream and a smidgen of salsa – bet those would be great!  Conjure up your own creation!  I know they would be good – and the wontons are so light and crispy – and just the right size!

Creole Jambalaya…..Oh Yeah

I need to get out more….since hubby is fully retired, and I am not, he has taken over a lot of the grocery shopping.  This can be good and this can be bad.   On the good side, it saves me a Saturday and I get to do things I normally don’t get to do that used to get taken up by shopping.   He has learned to stick to the list, for the most part, and get the brand items on the ones I insist, (hey, I’m a Viva paper towel kind of gal) and he is free to choose to get generic on some items.   

On the down side, I went to the grocery store for the first time Friday to do the actual shopping, which was an off day for me (I had some comp time I needed to burn).  Boys howdy, have they come up with some new products!   I am so behind on stuff.  I need a full week for just “window shopping” at the grocery stores!   I drooled, I got teary-eyed, I bought some, and I savored over some for a later buy.  I’ve just got to get out more!

I did get one item on a trip out over the past several weeks, that I wanted us to try.  It would be a quick meal to fix, it would use up some extra Conecuh sausage we had on hand, and it would include chicken of which I could partake.   

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McCormick’s has a new (and then again, it probably isn’t so new, but only to me…) of seasoning packets “McCormick Gourmet Line”  and I picked up the “Smoked Sausage & Pepper Creole Jambalaya” – recipe and seasoning mix included.   How simple is that?  I did leave out the shrimp, although I did have some, we are saving it for another day.   

If you haven’t tried this line by McCormick’s, you really need to.  It was super!  Just the right amount of heat, all the right seasonings, and man was it good.  I am always leery about “season packets” as I like to mix my own most of the time but I decided to give this one a shot.  While I did not use the Andouille sausage as suggested on the package, I did use the Concecuh Sausage as that is what we had on hand, and I believe hubby liked the smokey flavor it gave the recipe.   I have made Jambalaya with the Andouille before so just pick your favorite and go with it.   But try it.  Or one of their other flavors.   I don’t think you will be disappointed.   I plan on going back and trying a couple of others – maybe their Smoked Paprika Chicken Taco or their Tuscan Beef Stew – hubby would love that one. See which ones your store carries and pick some up. Let us know which one you try.

Have a great week!

Where’s the Bacon???

It was at my house this weekend….three different ways. Follow along while I share three great recipes made using bacon in three unique ways.  My house had some of the most fragrant smells coming forth!

 You will have to forgive the lack of pictures – I was too busy cooking bacon!

I made this for a granddaughter who is obsessed with bacon.  She loves bacon in every way possible so I sent this to her Sunday afternoon to try.  She will let me know if this is a keeper. Her brothers, who picked this up along with something else, said that it was good…real good.  I called her mother and said to hide it so she would get some when she got off of work.  Granddaughter would be mad if it gets gone before she gets home.  It surely smelled good while baking.

 

Roasted Bacon Pecans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 slices bacon, chopped (bacon is not pre-cooked)

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread pecans in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.  Drizzle with butter.  Sprinkle bacon pieces evenly over the pecans.   Bake, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is done.

 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sugar and salt.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the pecans and bacon as soon as they come out of the oven.  Let cool completely in pan over a wire rack.  Serve at room temperature.

 

These next two recipes I made for our Sunday School breakfast.  They like these and I will be making these roll-ups again.  I have made the bacon before and knew it would be a good change of pace to take alongside of the rollups.

 

Crispy Brown Sugar Bacon

1 pound hickory smoked bacon slices

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

 

Cut bacon slices in half.  Combine sugar and pepper in a shallow dish.   Dredge bacon in sugar mixture, shaking off excess.  Twist each bacon slice, if desired.  Place bacon in a single layer on a lightly greased baking rack in an aluminum foil lined baking pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. 

 

Cheesy Bacon Pecan Spirals

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (1-pound) package hickory-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup finely chopped pecans

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

two packages of crescent rolls

 

In a medium bowl, combine grated cheeses and cream cheese; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.   Add bacon, pecans and red pepper.   Beat at medium speed until well combined.  Divide mixture in half.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one package of crescent rolls, pressing seams together, into a rectangle.   Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the dough evenly covering the dough.   Roll up in a spiral, jelly-roll style, and smoothing seam closed. Repeat with other package of crescent rolls and cheese mixture.  Slice in to ½ inch spirals (or can be refrigerated overnight and sliced and baked the next day) and bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  

 

 

 

18 AND HUNGRY!

One of our grandchildren turned 18! The parents usually take their child (and their family) out for supper of the birthday kid’s choice and invite the grandparents to tag along. This one had other plans and he requested to come to “Grammy’s” for his birthday supper.  ! He wanted a specific menu, and so we obliged.  He wanted Conecuh Burgers, Smoked Mac and Cheese, and Homemade Blizzards!  We had a few other sides, but these three took the show!  With spring coming up and great weather to dust off the grills and smokers, get ready  to include these in your menus and for some good eating!

 

 

Smoked Mac & Cheese:

16-oz. Pkg elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

¼ cup butter

¼ cup all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 (8oz) cream cheese, cut in large chunks

1 teaspoon salt (I like to use garlic salt)

1//2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups (8-oz block ) smoked sharp cheddar cheese

                (shred  cheese)

2 cups (8 oz block) smoked gouda cheese

                (shred cheese)

1 cup (4 oz) shredded parmesan cheese

                (can get the already shredded)

 

Set smoker at 225 degrees or cut one side of grill on or set coals on one side of grill (leave one side of grill either cut off or without coals for pan to sit)

Cook pasta according to package instructions (don’t forget to add a small amount of salt to pasta water!)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, and whisk flour in the butter.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, just to “cook” the flour. Add the milk, stirring, and bring to a boil.  Cook approx.. 5 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. – add salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, combine one cup Cheddar, one cup Gouda, the parmesan cheese, pasta and cream sauce (you will save the other 1 cup gouda and cheddar for the top of the pasta dish) and mix well.  Spoon mixture into an 11 by 9 ½ aluminum roasting pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses.  Place in smoker and cook for 1 hour until hot, bubbly, and brown!

 

Conecuh Burgers:

1 lb Conecuh sausage,

  Ground up (either by your

   Kitchen-aid food grinder attachment or

    Ask your meat dept to grind for you)

1 lb. lean ground beef, or ground chuck

 

Mix together and form hamburger patties;

Grill until done.  (My husband took a step further and put in the smoker and smoked for approx.. 45 minutes on 200-225 degrees.  The family loved them!)

 

Homemade Oreo Blizzards:

(thank you Mrs. Tiny for teaching me this recipe!)

 

1 carton Vanilla Icecream

1 12 –oz tub cool whip

1 pkg oreo cookies, crushed to desired lumpiness

 

Empty carton of ice cream and cool whip in large bowl and let thaw until easy to stir and mix.

 

Throw in the crushed oreos and stir all together.

Put back in the ice cream container and the leftovers in the cool whip container (it grows in content and won’t all fit back in the ice cream container!)

Re-freeze!  Let sit a few minutes prior to serving and enjoy!  Yummy!

Ole! Time for Mexican Pulled Pork

I have wanted to try this easy peasy crock pot recipe for a while!  And this weekend I will be making this!  We will be eating some (and I use the term “we” very loosely”) Mexican Pulled Pork tacos after this wonderfully seasoned pork shoulder roast sits in the crock pot for 6 to 10 hours making my house smell like it is Cinco De Mayo in February!  You should make it too, and come back and let me know how yours turned out!  I will be wearing my authentic hand-made Mexican blouse while preparing this!  Maybe I will think (or wish) I am back in Cozumel!

Slow cooker Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos (or make Burritos if you have any leftover pork)

The rub is for a 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder – my roast is about 5 1/2 lbs so I will increase my spice amount by 1 1/2)

The Rub:

  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Scant pinch of ground cloves

The Roast:

  • 3 ½ pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

 

  1.  Whisk together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. If the roast is tied up with butcher string, untie it.  Pat the roast dry with paper towels.  Rub the spice mix into the roast all over, reserving leftover spice mix for later.   Marinate in the rub at least one hour or overnight. (I marinate overnight)
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.   Place the roast in the pan anad brown on all sides.
  4. Place the roast in slow cooker, and add any reserved spice rub.   Cook on low setting for 6 to 10 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender.
  5. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board.  Cut into large chunks.  Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite sized shreds.  Return the shreds to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the juice from the roast.

Serve with tortillas, avocados, and salsa (and any other topping you like on your tacos.)

Gracias! For reading and following me!

Happy Valentine’s Day…..Early!!!!

     Because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, what better time for a giveaway!  And because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, what better time than now to try a new recipe!   I want to try this one….Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork!  And I will make it soon, and someone will get it delivered to them to try and post whether it is a keeper or not!  Because I do not eat pork!  But if I did, this is one I would want to taste!  Just wait, because you will want to make it also!  It is a crock pot recipe and could not be easier but is full of flavor!

In the meantime, which do you like better?   Kindle Fire or iPads?   I have an iPad only because I have an iPhone and I can sync it together – but one of my girls has a Kindle Fire and if I had not gotten an iPad, I would have one of those!   I have a regular kindle and still use it for all my book readings except my cookbooks and I put those on my iPad – they look great in color!

The Kindle Fire HD does pretty much everything the iPad does.  So, because it is almost Valentine’s Day, I am giving away a NEW KINDLE FIRE HD!  It looks like this…….

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You can go to www.amazon.com and read all about it!  And if you already have one, it would make a wonderful gift for you to give to a family member!

To be eligible to win (and I will ship anywhere in the US) all you have to do is leave a comment to this post and answer this question:   If you win, will you…..keep it for yourself or are you winning it to give to someone else??? A daughter, a sister, a son or just for a very special friend????  Or maybe your sweetie for Valentine’s Day????  You have until, what else,  February 14, Valentine’s Day to leave a comment and be entered to win!   Winner will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rajun Cajun-Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Creole Mustard Sauce

sur la table 5 qt multipan
Taking Viking Cooking School cooking classes does pay off!  Not only do you learn technique, cooking times, proper preparation of what you are cooking, you have loads of fun!  The recipe I am sharing is so easy! And if you eat Pork Tenderloin, it is so tasty! And it is the way to get tender, (not dry) flavorful pork tenderloin!  We learned that pork is done when it reaches 140 degrees.  Anything over that and you will get chewy, dry pork!  (We will be tasting this with Sweet Potato biscuits, to die for, at work in the next week).

So, plan on making this – it doesn’t take long, can be made on a week-night, and there’s a give-a-way involved!   Woohoo!  A Sur-La-Table Lime Green 5-Qt Multipurpose Cast-Iron Enameled Pan! Pictured above! It will make you happy!  The lid serves as a second pan!  Two pans in one!  AND I am throwing in a Williams Sonoma Digital Meat thermometer in with it!  This baby is wonderful!  I have a different version and love, love, love mine!  You can insert it into the meat and close the oven door for perfectly prepared meals!

To be entered, just let me know if you (1) either tried the recipe below or (2) plan on trying the recipe below! I hope you will! You won’t be disappointed! Leave a comment to be entered in the give-a-way by next Friday, January 11, when a winner will be selected and announced! !

Blackened Pork Tenderloin with Creole Mustard-serves 6-8

2-(1-lb)  pork tenderloins                          3-4 Tbsp clarified butter

Blackened Seasoning (make or purchase your favorite brand)

Creole mustard
(trim the tenderloins, removing all fat and silverskin.(keeps the tenderloins from curling up and from becoming tender).

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. * Coat each tenderloin with clarified butter then season generously and evenly on all sides with Blackened Seasoning. (I have used softened regular butter in the absence of clarified butter and it worked fine)  *Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed skillet (that can go in the oven) (if you win the contest that pan would work great!) over high heat until smoking hot.  Sear the pork on all sides until a dark brown crust forms, about 3 minutes on all sides.  The pork should be lightly charred. * If necessary,(I would test with a meat thermometer to get the 140 degree meat reading) place whole pan in oven and finish cooking until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees in thickest portion.  *Remove and place tenderloins on carving board.  Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch medallions.  Serve with Creole Mustard Sauce.

Creole Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup Creole or grainy Dijon mustard                  1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp honey                                                                1 Tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp hot pepper sauce                                                1/2 tsp creole seasoning

3 green onions green tops only, sliced very thin

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayo, honey, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, creole seasoning, and green onions.   Place in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop.

I hope you will make this and enjoy!  Sweet Potato Biscuit recipe to come!