"It IS all about the TASTE"
RSS icon Home icon
  • Fat Tuesday – Fried Summer Squash

    Again a dish from my youth. Fresh from the garden squash, (yellow, summer, crook-neck, or zucchini), sliced thin, tossed in seasoned corn meal and quick fried, usually served hot. (actually, we just stood around the stove grabbing pieces off the plate as they came out for the frying pan.)

    Background
    Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita native to Mexico and Central America, natively grown in parts of North America, Europe, India, and Australia. In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, as well as autumn squash depending on whether they are harvested as immature vegetables (summer squash) or mature vegetables (autumn squash or winter squash). Well known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini.

    When used for food, squash are usually picked when under 8in/20cm in length and the seeds are soft and immature. Mature squash can be as much as three feet long, but are often fibrous and not appetizing to eat. Squash with the flowers attached are a sign of a truly fresh and immature fruit, and are especially sought by many people.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • How to grill a hot dog

    Memorial day is here, and that means firing up the grill, and providing burnt offerings. And there in lies the problem, the burn offerings parts.

    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….

    Background

    A hot dog is a type of fully cooked, cured and/or smoked moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor, usually made from mechanically recovered meat or meat slurry. It is usually placed hot in a soft, sliced hot dog bun of approximately the same length as the sausage, and optionally garnished with condiments and toppings.

    In the United Kingdom and Australia, hot dog refers more commonly to the combination of sausage and bun, with the sausage called a frankfurter.

    Hot dogs are a cinch. It’s ideal to grill fresh dogs, but if yours are frozen, defrost them first.

    Here’s the routine:

    1. Toss them on a medium-hot grill.
    2. Cook hot dogs until they’re slightly blistered on all sides (approximately 5 minutes).
    3. Turn them frequently.

    For the Bratwurst crowd :

    1. Preheat grill to high.
    2. Slice an onion into a medium stockpot.
    3. Place the bratwurst on top and add beer to cover. (~one can for 4 brats)
    4. Simmer the sausages in the mixture for about 10 minutes.
    5. Move sausages to the grill and proceed as above
    6. Reserve the onions as a condiment

    Top as you like, some folks like mustard and onion sauce, some like chili and cheese, and some do Chicago style as above.

    The real pity is I actually had to post this ….. (There are people who could burn water…)

  • Big Meal Sunday – Grilled Shrimp Teriyaki

    A long weekend so I cook two dinners for Madam Bad Wolf. Last night was Steak, grilled potato wedges and grilled corn. Tonight planked salmon, grilled shrimp and a rice pilaf

    Shrimp are the most popular shellfish in the world and nearly the most popular seafood.

    Most people don’t know how to cook them properly. Of course by cooking I mean grilling. Prepping the shrimp is just as important as the actual grilling.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Wild Card – Grilled Potato Wedges

    Ok, back in town for another run of projects, work, and recipes. I have a bit of stuff left from the event, but I want something more, with a crisp bite, a creamy center, a hint of salt and great dipping sauce

    Now, potato wedges sound good, but I want GREAT!!! Let’s take those wedges and slap them onto a griddle, for a crispy, crunchy, crust, I’ll pre-boil them to get that creamy center, a quick grill on a hot grill and we are done. Now for bit more of a kick, a dollop of bacon drippings to toss the wedges in and add that special taste to the wedges. I’ll serve them up with a blue cheese dressing, or maybe a remoulade.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Fish Friday – Catfish

    I went into the grocery store looking for some beef to make chicken fried steaks, but was less than pleased with the offerings. About to walk out, I walked by the fish counter, and saw catfish fillets.

    Now I am a southern boy, and I do love fried fish, but Catfish!, I was amazed to see it there, and even more amazed at the price. Needless to say 2 lb of catfish left with me, as well as corn meal and all the fixin’s. Guess it’s time to fry up a mess of catfish.

    Catfish has always been a southern delight, some of my fondest memories from growing up in Texas are associated with the fish fries the family would enjoy after returning from a overnight trotline run out on either the Lampasses or Cowhouse creeks. But even when we didn’t have time to fish we could always depend on the numerous roadside cafes featuring all the catfish and hush puppies you could eat for a dollar.

    Catfishes are a diverse group of rCatfish have been widely caught and farmed for food for hundreds of years in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Judgments as to the quality and flavor vary, with some food critics considering catfish as being excellent food, others dismiss them as watery and lacking in flavor.[20] In Central Europe, catfish were often viewed as a delicacy to be enjoyed on feast days and holidays. Migrants from Europe and Africa to the United States brought along this tradition, and in the Southern United States catfish is an extremely popular food.

    The most commonly eaten species in the United States are the channel catfish and blue catfish, both of which are common in the wild and increasingly widely farmed. Farm-raised catfish became such a staple of the diet of the United States that on June 25, 1987, President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognize “the value of farm-raised catfish.”

    Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways; in Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is typically crumbed with cornmeal and fried.

    In Indonesia catfish are usually served grilled in street stalls called warung and eaten with vegetables and soy sauce; the dish is called Pecel Lele. Catfish can also be eaten with chili sambal as Lele Penyet (minced catfish). (Lele is the Indonesian word for catfish)

    As catfish lack scales, they are judged to not be kosher and cannot be eaten by observant Jews, some Christians who follow the Torah, and observant Muslims of various schools.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Thursday’s BBQ – Burnt Ends and Beans

    This is a “side dish” for a BBQ. In reality, it is a main meal for two days after the BBQ.

    When one throws a BBQ, one goes big or one goes home, and going big means there will be left-overs, (it is planned that way). And once all the slices of brisket, skirt, or flanken are gone, what is left is a pool of flavorful grease, with bits and pieces of meat in it.

    Some people look at this, sigh, and toss it out. (Did I ever tell you some people are IDIOTS!!!).

    This is the very essence of a BBQ, the very distillation of meat, spice, and smoke. All it wants is something to stretch it out. And the most perfect, (almost designed by God), thing to do this is the pinto bean.

    Read the rest of this entry »