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  • Texas Red – Chili

    With the recently departed Stella, and the oncoming snow for the weekend, it is time for some serious hearty food. And for this Texas boy, that means meat, and since I live in New York, I have no time to spend hours cooking, so that means the slow cooker.

    From Wikipedia:

    Chili con carne, commonly known in American English as simply “chili”, is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat (usually beef), and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin.

    Geographic and personal tastes involve different types of meat and ingredients. Recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word “chili” applies only to the basic dish, without beans and tomatoes. Chili con carne is a frequent dish for cook-offs and is used as an ingredient in other dishes.

    From way back in my youth, these are the days my mother made chili, or Texas Red, no beans, no tomatoes, no mushrooms, no tofu, absolutely nothing fancy, just beef, stock, Allium, and capsicums, and perhaps some cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and other trace element style spices. (Alliums are the onion family, onion, garlic, etc, and capsicums are peppers.)

    To quote a description:

    Texas red if it walks the thin line just this side of indigestibility: damning the mouth that eats it and defying the stomach to digest it, the ingredients are hardly willing to lie in the same pot together.

    If one looks at all the legends of how chili was discovered, there is one thing in common…. ABJECT POVERTY, so the meat involved is not going to be the best, but since it will be close to the horn or the hoof, I am sure it will have flavor beyond compare, and collagen beyond believe. (And this is a good thing….)

  • A New Year’s Cholent

    It is Rosh Hashanah, and while I do not celebrate this, I can truly appreciate the food.

    I’ve been rocking and rolling on various projects and living the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), life. Time to stop and get back to cooking. I want SERIOUS hearty food, I want meat, root veggies, legumes, all in a rich and savory gravy. But a stew just is not going to cut it, and I’ve done roasts of just about anything that would walk, fly, swim or slither. Time to take a lesson from some friends. Time to make cholent, a savory, rich, stew of brisket, beans, veggies and all held together by a gravy that can only happen after hours of slow cooking.

    I already acknowledge the fact that the “fan club”, will be writing me on ALL the mistakes I’ve made. (Send me your recipes, I’ll try them all)

    Using my slow cooker on low I’ll simmer this for at least 10, maybe 12 hours, or until the collagen in the meat melts

    Wikipedia says:

    Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: חמין‎) is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath.) Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish religious laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a slow oven or electric slow cooker until the following day.

    There are many variations of the dish, which is standard in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens. The basic ingredients of cholent are meat, potatoes, beans and barley. Sephardi-style hamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, and chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell (haminados), which turn brown overnight. Ashkenazi cholent often contains kishke or helzel – a sausage casing or a chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture. Slow overnight cooking allows the flavors of the various ingredients to permeate and produces the characteristic taste of cholent.

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  • Bad Wolf Surf and Turf

    IMG_4819

    It’s late summer and grilling time at my upstate lair. The local mega-mart had porterhouses on sale, plus a sale on 16-20, raw, shell on, IQF shrimp. Sounds like surf and turf to me.

    I’ll season both sides of the steak, with a steak salt, (~1.5″ thick, 1.5lb) and let it come to room temperature, whilst the shrimp are thawing. And go down to prep the grill.

    I’ll want a high direct heat for this and things will move quickly, so if you are going to do this have everything ready

    The first thing to go on is the steak, directly over the sear station, let it sit for ~2 1/2 minutes, turn 90 degrees and let it cook for another 2 1/2 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, flip the steak, and place the shrimp on the grill.

    Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes and flip, rotate the steak 90 degrees as well. (Forms those nice cross hatch grill marks), after 2 additional minutes, take the shrimp off in the order they were placed on the grill and remove the steak. (The shells will be a vibrant pink, and the flesh opaque.)

    Rest the steak for 5 minutes and serve.

  • Smoke and Fire 2014

    tritip

    It is Memorial Day, and due to the odd fates, I have been banished into the city for the holiday.. Nothing to do but BBQ…

    And by BBQ, I do not mean grill, ANY IDIOT CAN BURN MEAT OVER AN OPEN FIRE. But, to use the gentle mixture of low heat, slow cooking and bathing in the luscious smoke of slow burning fragrant hardwood, transforming a “cheaper” cut of meat into an excursion into culinary nirvana truly requires a master’s touch.

    Of all the meats for low and slow smoking, I believe the brisket is the “King of Smoke”. The high collagen and heavy marbling lend this meat to the low and sustained heat and as the meas fibers swell they absorb the sweet rub and pungent smoke to deliver a taste that can NOT be duplicated by any other means.

    Once a suitable brisket has been found, one must remove any ligaments, and silverskin, but leave a goodly amount of the fat cap to keep the meat moist and lubed during the low, slow, crawl to bbq heaven.

    Rubs are a must for any good bbq or smoke job. If you do not do this, you really are missing out on 1/2 the flavor and 1/2 the fun of BBQ or smoking. To weave the subtle components of meat, smoke and spice into a heavenly culinary experience takes knowledge, technique and skill.

    For brisket a nice sweet / spicy rub, that will caramelize on the surface and force the juices back into the meat is a key element, the rub also helps to trap the wonderful smoke taste, that is just soo much of the BBQ taste…

     

    Smoke and Fire 2014
    Recipe Type: Spice Combo / Rub
    Cuisine: American
    Author: RogueChef
    Prep time:
    Total time:
    Serves: 0
    Sweet / Spicy rub for slow smoked beef (Brisket)
    Ingredients
    • 1/2 Cup Paprika Hot / Smoked adds soo much
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar Dark is preferred
    • 2 1/2 TBS Black Pepper Coarse Grind or Cracked for a bit more kick
    • 1 1/2 TBS Garlic Powder –
    • 1 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder Adjust the Heat, Coarse Power is MUCH hotter
    • 1 1/2 TBS Onion Powder –
    • 1 tsp Cayenne Or Powdered Habenero
    • 2 TBS Kosher Salt –
    Instructions
    1. In your blender (food processor) mix the dark brown sugar and the paprika (Use Pulses). Make sure all lumps are worked out and that the paprika is incorporated with the brown sugar.
    2. When the mixture is smooth in texture add the remaining ingredients one at a time mixing well and removing the lumps.
    3. Store for up to 2 weeks in the zip lock bag

     

  • Quick, To the Grill FatMan!!!!

    As it is coming to Memorial Day and the opening of the grill season, it’s probably a prudent idea to review the basics of grilling. Here is a compilation of posts on grilling, the basics, hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks ….

    I was talking with Madam Bad Wolf, about our plans for the coming holiday, and the menu for said holiday and plans. She not so gently reminded me of some of my less memorable meals on the grill. This inspired me to start making notes on how to grill the more traditional items….

    Do note: Grilling is NOT Bar-B-Que ….

    Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below. Food to be grilled is cooked on a grill (an open wire grid with a heat source above or below), a grill pan (similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill), or griddle (a flat plate heated from below) . Heat transfer to the food when using a grill is primarily via thermal radiation. Heat transfer when using a grill pan or griddle is by direct conduction. In the United States, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is termed broiling. In this case, the pan that holds the food is called a broiler pan, and heat transfer is by thermal radiation.

    Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F). Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma from a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction only occurs when foods reach temperatures in excess of 155 °C (310 °F).
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  • Tacos Con Carne

    steak-taco

    Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo, and I will be (hopefully) recovering from a weekend of high pressure ops. That said, perhaps a little bit of Mexico can creep onto my plate .. I am thinking Tacos… But not just any tacos, soft tacos with strips of steak, grilled peppers, onions, fresh cheese, a tangy dipping sauce, perhaps guacamole and some form of lettuce salad on the side.

    A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, minced meat, onions and lettuce.

    These come in many varieties:

    The Hard Taco
    Beginning from the early part of the twentieth century, various styles of tacos have become popular in the United States and Canada. The style that has become most common is the hard-shell, U-shaped version. Such tacos are crisp-fried corn tortillas filled with seasoned ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and sometimes tomato, onion, salsa, sour cream, and avocado or guacamole.

    The Soft Taco
    Traditionally, soft-shelled tacos referred to corn tortillas that were cooked to a softer state than a hard taco – usually by grilling or steaming. More recently the term has come to include flour tortilla based tacos mostly from large manufacturers and restaurant chains. In this context, soft tacos are tacos made with wheat flour tortillas and filled with the same ingredients as a hard taco.

    The Double Decker
    Comprised of a hard taco wrapped in a similarly sized flour tortilla with a layer of re-fried beans or guacamole between the layers

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