Tag Archives: cooking

I’m fine with throwing some things out

Italian meatballs for subs or sauce


1 Lb. Italian sausage ground or removed from casing (Hot preferably)

1.25 Lbs. Ground pork

1 cup of Italian bread crumbs

1 Large egg

1/2 a medium onion minced

1 Tsp. black pepper

1 Tsp. powdered Oregano

1 tsp. basil

2- cloves of Garlic crushed


*Thoroughly mix the pork and Italian sausage together

*Sprinkle the dry seasonings onto the pork and mix in by hand

*Mix in the onion and garlic

*Mix in the bread crumbs

*Beat the egg in a bowl and knead into mixture

*Separate mixture and form into meatballs about 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter


*Brown the meatballs in olive oil over medium low heat

turning frequently to avoid scorching

*Cook until done entirely through and onion is tender

(About 20 Min)

Makes about 20 meatballs

(See next post about what to do with them)


Making Bacon better

I know that some of you are going to accuse me of playing God, but it’s not like that.  Would you buy an out of the box 1911 without improving it?

Or an AR15?

So why not bacon?

I know that to some it is the smoky , sacrosanct, sliced food of the Gods, but even great things can be improved upon.

Even Bacon.

How you might ask, in my arrogance, could I possibly improve bacon?

Read on if you dare.

Here is the key to bacon improvement; a simple marinade of things that naturally go with bacon anyway.

I know bacon lovers across the country just spit mouthfuls of coffee out, but hear me out, it works.

For each 2 slices of bacon, drip 4 or 5 drops of soy sauce on it (The good stuff of course), a liberal dose of liquid smoke, garlic powder and a heavy dose of black pepper.

After applying the ingredients rub it in gently with your fingertips and let it sit for about ten minutes. For saltier bacon use a little less soy.

You will notice that above I stated that it was for each “2 slices of bacon” and here is why; I cook it in the microwave.

Yes, that’s right, I admit it, the microwave. I realize that to some I have just committed a sin of epic proportions and am to be banished to bacon lovers hell, but these days that is how I cook it most of the time. I know that my readership will probably be cut in half and assassins dispatched upon that revelation, but the truth is it comes out really good and without the spatter and mess.

If you decide to try it, always stack the bacon in piles of two, not by the single slice which cooks unevenly.Put it on a large heavy plate with a minimum of 8 slices total and cover with paper towels, tucking them under the plate. Cook for 8 minutes and then check. for doneness and draining the grease off. !0 minutes is usually enough to do 5 double stacked slices.

When done remove to separate plate and pat down with a paper towel.

In my next post I will let you in on how to use that bacon to make the worlds best BLT.

Authentic Homemade Tex Mex Chicken Enchiladas

I made this last night and it went directly into the freezer. I also made the red sauce for eggplant Parmesan (Heavy on the Italian sausage and red wine). Tonight will be beef stock for Beef  bourguignon made with red wine ,beef short ribs, beef shanks and chuck. Saturday is going to be a smoker day with a giant slab of ribs and chicken thighs along with bacon wrapped dates. Sunday is going to be a large chuck roast, topped with sliced onions, 1 can diced tomatoes and two teaspoons of beef bullion stock then sprinkled with garlic and cumin. After slow cooking at 300 degrees, it will be torn up for fajitas.  Momma’s gonna’ eat good when she gets out.

Enchilada sauce

6-Oz. Dried Ancho Chili peppers

3-Oz. Dried Guajillo peppers

3- Oz.- Dried New Mexico Chili peppers (Also called California)

3- tablespoons tomato paste

Chicken filling

5- Chicken Quarters (Leg and thigh)

1- Quart Chicken broth

1-Tbls. salt

1- Bulb of  Garlic peeled and minced (At least 10 cloves)

2- Medium Onions finely chopped

2-4 Oz. cans of diced green chilies

1 1/2 Lbs. Chihuahua cheese , shredded (Colby/Jack or Mexican blend can be substituted)

Large package of yellow corn tortillas or a bag of Masa to make your own

This is a mild recipe with very little heat. Normally I would add a big handful of Arbol chilies to put some smoke to it.

In a large pot add the Broth , garlic, onions, chilies and chicken and salt. Add enough water to just cover the chicken.

Boil on low heat for an hour then remove chicken to another pan. Remove onions and chilies with a straining spoon and set aside. Skim off the fat from the top of the stock and discard.

Prepare the dried chilies by cutting the tops off, opening them length wise (I use scissors) and removing the seeds. Make sure your exhaust fan is on and your windows are open then add the chilies to the Chicken stock.

Boil the Chilies for 1 hour 45 Min. in a pot with a tight fitting lid ,stirring occasionally to help break them down. When the chilies are done boiling stir vigorously to help remove any remaining flesh and then strain the mix into another large pot.

Use a large plastic or wooden spoon to force the moisture and some of the flesh through the strainer.Once that is done slowly add 3 cups of water into your strained peppers and stir. Force  this moisture through also with the spoon.

After the mix is strained, rinse your original pot and slowly pour it back into it. Chili peppers ALWAYS come with sand and you will try to leave it in the pot you strained into. Once in the pot, reheat and add the tomato paste. If too much water boiled away another cup or 2 can be added. If you make it too thin, a shot of corn starch and an extra Tbls. of tomato paste will thicken it.

While the sauce is cooking, use 2 forks to remove the chicken from the bone and shred it. I kind of shred it as I remove it using one fork to hold the quarter and pull at it with the other. It can be done in a food processor to save time, but be very careful not to over do it.

Not enough makes it chunky and it will not absorb sauce; too much makes it mushy and the consistency does not sit well on the palette.

After the chicken is shredded add the green chilies and onions back in. Add enchilada sauce into the mix, stirring vigorously until the chicken is very moist. Bring chicken mixture and sauce up to temperature at this point. Both should be hot for the assembly procedure.

Fry corn tortillas about 1 1/2 seconds or until limp in a skillet. Remove from oil and drain on plate or platter with paper towels. Lay each tortilla out one at a time in a fair sized glass baking dish and spoon filling in and top with shredded cheese. Use just enough filling and cheese to still be able to roll it and set it fold side down. As you roll them, push them together tightly in the pan.

Once all of the enchiladas are rolled, top with remaining cheese and pour sauce over the whole pan. The sauce should entirely cover all of the enchiladas and pool up a little in the corners.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 2o Min. (Provided that you mixed everything warm ,bordering on hot) and be careful not to over cook. You can tell when it is about done because you can see the stuff boiling through the side of the pan.

When done remove from heat and let stand about 5 Min. before serving.

Valentines day dinner

I know this is a little out dated, but I have been sick since right after V-Day. I took the wife to the Dr. on Wednesday and while I was in her office she looks at me and says “Boy, you really look like crap”. (Thanks!) So she looks down my throat and finds that ,apparently, I have a world class case of Strep.

She said it was lucky that I wandered in when I did,  because in another day or two I would have ended up in the hospital. So I am on a course of strong antibiotics and back to posting as I improve.I don’t have a lot of spunk at the moment so instead of say , an explosives recipe, I will give you my V-day dinner recipe.

Hope you can find some element in the below  to use to improve the status of your taste buds.

Boneless rib eye steaks with raspberry sauce and Brie

Broiled Maine  Lobster tail

Baked Yukon Gold Potatoes with Aus jue

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms

Asparagus cooked in Raspberry vinaigrette

Strawberries with melted chocolate sauce

Yeah, I really went out on a limb. I am the kind of guy that usually lets a steak stand on it’s own merits. Let a flame kiss it a little, pour a little smoke on it and call it done.

But not this time

This time was special, so I had to risk screwing the whole thing up. It was not only valentines day, it was also our 25th wedding anniversary. No re-do’s on this one.

That’s right, the perfect time to try to improve on a steak.  No pressure, just make it better than it already is. Out do God, that’s all you have to do.

Everything in the end came together with perfection. Raspberry sauce ended up being the perfect compliment along with the Brie.

Just remember, if you cook this, you are not a fag, no matter how fancy it is. Steak is a man’s world no matter how you serve it.

Marinate the steaks for 2 1/2 hours with soy sauce, 1/2 the amount of Worcestershire, garlic powder and pepper. Broil with the rule of 3’s….  3/4″ steak ,3 Mins. flip, 3 Min. flip, and a final  3 min. Add a Tbls. of Brie on the last Min. and serve with a Tbls. of Raspberry sauce.

Raspberry sauce is 10 large raspberries, 4 Tbls. pomegranate juice, 6 drops of Worcestershire sauce (Lee and Perrins),garlic powder , 1 Tsp. of corn starch and 1/2 Tbls. of butter. Cook on low heat until reduced by half, strain out the solids and add the corn starch to thicken.

The baked potatoes are knocked out of the park with the Aus Jue. Take beef broth and reduce it to about a quarter of it’s original volume. It should be reduced until it is strong and salty. While it is being reduced , dump in all of the classic beef seasonings; Cumin (A must), heavy black pepper, oregano, marjoram, garlic,bay leaf, onion, a dash of brown mustard and a Tbls. of butter.  Scoop out the potato and mash with a fork, adding Aus Jus until moist. Put the potato back into the skin to serve.

The asparagus is cooked in a raspberry Vinaigrette dressing with garlic added and (Waaaaiitt for it) butter. I was running out of time so I did not make the dressing and used store bought. It still came out superb. The key is to use the youngest asparagus that you can find. Put it in a frying pan in one layer and cook with the dressing and butter until tender.

Stuffed portobello mushrooms were Panko (Japanese) bread crumbs, sun dried tomatoes, chives, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion. After removing and discarding the gills, the stem gets chopped up with the bread crumbs and seasoning. Broil one side for 5 min. then add all the stuff and bake for 15 at 350.

Lobster tail gets melted garlic butter after soaking for 20 min. in saltwater.Pepper it up with Paprika and broil it for 6 to 7 min. I don’t actually eat fish of any type , but I was assured that the lobster was quite good.

Now here comes the best part; Chocolate strawberries. Slice up a large and deep red strawberry; the bigger and the redder, the better. Take one 2″ X 2″ square of 60% cacao dark chocolate ( I use  ghirardelli ) 1 1/2 Tbls. pomegranate juice, 2 Tsp. of butter. Heat the pomegranate juice and butter until the juice is reduced by half then add the chocolate square. Cook until melted then pour over the sliced strawberry.

All of this was served up with with a good bottle of Coppola merlot.

My new favorite kitchen tool; The Crapmatic 1000 meat tenderizer


I was making Swiss steak earlier. I went to the bin to get the meat tenderizer and found that the metal part with the blades had fallen off and gotten lost. I had to  come up with something.  So this was my answer. Yes, that is a hole saw and it worked like a champ….