Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jack's Stack BBQ ribs to go! And beans! And sauce!

Last week the doorbell rang. UPS had already delivered the one package I was expecting, so who could it be? A neighbor wanting to introduce themselves? NAH!!! It's another package!! My buddy Paul & Libby surprised me with a very unexpected gift from Jack's Stack that made my day (week, month, etc). What better gift to get than FOOD, and food from "home" too! It came packed in dry ice (which I failed to play with before it was gone), and in a nice styrofoam cooler stamped with Jack's Stack on it that certainly will be used a few times, what a bonus!

I expected it to be good, the beans were a no brainer, I've had them there and they're meaty, tangy and how could that get screwed up by time and shipping? The ribs though? I had expectations that they would be decent, but I wasn't sure if having them cooked, frozen and heated back up if they would be dry, plus I am picky about my ribs. These had a good chance of being good since they were pork ribs, and spare ribs at that. We ignored the directions about cutting them up in pieces before heating and just put the whole slab on a pan in the convection oven (a wonderful appliance). Tracy made some biscuits are we were set:

The first comment (Tracy) was the smokiness, it definitely had a great smell to it. Sat down and basically used a FORK to split them apart, I could tell they wuz gonna be tender!

Yummy! Look at this rib pull out, Zzzzipppp!!!

Tasty, meaty, very well done, and now I have a challenge. I think Tracy liked them better than my own! To qualify that, she liked them better than the LAST ones, which were pretty fatty.

Thanks again guys, you're the best!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Little Pizzas! Yum!!

Thanks goes to my buddy Brett and his wife Annette for introducing me to this easy tasty method of creating homemade Za. I haven't had the chance to do it for a group, but I can imagine it being a hit, as it's a hit here at home with me and T. It's so easy it's like a head slap to me, cause I've been disappointed in most homemade pizzas, the Boboli kind, homemade crust, etc. The exception is Tracy's deep dish stuff, it's dang good but not a traditional flat bread pizza. This is about as close as you can get. I've yet to really work with trying to make the crust crispier, with all the crap I tend to throw on as toppings, it can get soggy. Regardless, it's easy and quick and since it's individual, you put on what you want.

The whole TRICK of this is to use flour tortillas! Brush them with a little olive oil, and go to town on your ingredients. Cook meat beforehand, Get a can of sauce, we use homemade spaghetti sauce which is extra tasty, and just set out little bowls of what you like, and cheese, lots of cheese. I like the traditional sausage, black olive, Mozz cheese, sauce. Tracy used some goat cheese, sun dried toms and garlic on one. Just THINK of the possibilities! Go through the fridge, whatta ya got? Crab meat? Seafood PIZZA! Havarti, Swiss and provolone? Ultimate CHEESE Pizza! Peppers and corn? A Veggie Pizza!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Banana Berry Foster ala Toddy

Paula Deen was my inspiration for this treat. If you know me, I don't have a sweet tooth, but Tracy does and I think she enjoyed it. She was making noises I've only heard... Oh, never mind.

Not healthy at all, so pass if you're weighing yourself every day. I'm at 192 these days by the way. BUTTA!

  • 1 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Malibu Rum
  • 1/8 Cup Amaretto
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans
  • 1/8 Cup dried blueberries
  • 4 Banananananas
  • Ice Cream, Vanilla is perfect

Get your skillet going with the butter and brown sugar, bubbling but not burning so that it thickens up. Doesn't take too long. Add the booze, nuts & berries and meld it all together, then add the bananas last, or don't add them at all, put them on the ice cream. It'll look like this in the pan:

Get yer bowls of ice cream out, pour the gooey goodness over and serve. I bet you find it very tasty and will impress.
The blueberries I used were from Costco, whole dried in a bag and are actually somehow enhanced with sugar & stuff. Dried by very moist and juicy. This would be great with strawberries or near just about anything really. How about star fruit, now THAT would be interesting eh?

Mutant Tomatoes Rule the Earth

Here's an oddball I picked from the garden o' toms. Weird eh? Looks like five of them trying to burst out from one. Tasted fine, but after I ate it I started to get this twitch and for some reason the dogs were barking at me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Variation on a theme

I really do like this sammich. It's also good with fresh basil, which is what I have here. Getting close to the end of the tomato season here in Sparks, so I enjoy them when I can. Maybe another this weekend... Yeah.... Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's a Muffaletta?

Ever heard of one? Not me, but it sure sounded interesting. Ol' Bobby Flay and his Showdown's, truly an interesting show and always something new to learn. This is a big fat meat and cheeze sammich with lots of olives, certainly something up my alley. I guess it's a common item in the New Orleans area, but it was news to me. Overall worth the effort and pretty easy despite the amount of ingredient. We tried it first cold which is how it's commonly served, then heated up enough to melt the cheese, etc. I actually preferred it hot, which is no surprise, I'm a much bigger fan of hot sandwiches. Bobby lost this one, mainly cause (they say) he went too far off track with his variation, using mayo and mustard, and then getting funky with everything else. Check his version out here: Bobby Flays Muffaletta Recipe

  • 1 Big round loaf of bread, get what you like.
  • 1/4 lb each of sliced meats, ham, turkey, Genoa Salami, Pepperoni, Prosciutto, etc.
  • 1/4 lb each of sliced cheeses, Provolone, Havarti, Swiss, Mozzarella, etc

Olive Salad:

  • 1/2 Cup Green Spanish olives
  • 1/2 Cup Black Olives
  • 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives if you're adventurous
  • 1/4 chopped Pepperocini
  • 1/2 Stalk of celery chopped
  • 1/2 carrot chopped
  • 1 TB chopped garlic
  • 1 TB or whatever of mixed dried Italian herbs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Pretty easy to make. Cut the bread in half, layer the meats and cheese to your liking, put a ton of olive salad on the other half and somehow slap them together. At that point I cut it up and served it in sections. To give it credence, Tracy is not a big olive fan and she ate it up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pozole Rojo de Puerco (Pork and Red Chile Hominy Soup)

My buddy Ray sent me this recipe and it is DAMN tasty. Even though it was 90 degrees out, I managed to eat two bowls. I did some of my own spin of course, comments in parentheses.

4 lb pork shoulder cut in to 1 inch chunks. (Remove chunks of fat)
60 ounces chicken broth or 4- 14 1/2 ounce cans.
2 TB veg oil
1 big onion chopped
6 to 10 cloves garlic chopped
3 medium carrots thinly sliced (next time I'll dice them)
2 to 3 TB ground ancho chiles or pasilla
2 TB chile powder, (I used taco seasoning)
1 TB ground cumin
1 TS dried thyme
1 TB Mexican Oregano
1 TS salt
4 15 oz cans white hominy or 2 big 28 oz cans rinsed ( I don't rinse)
1 big 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I used home made stewed tomatoes)
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 T masa harina flour. (I used regular flour)
Shredded cabbage as a garnish. (I did not do this)
Lime Wedges

Sour Cream

Put the pork pieces in a pot with one can chicken broth and a cup of water (I used two cans homemade beef broth). Bring to a boil and cover on low heat for 40 minutes. Reserve the meat in the broth off heat in another bowl.

In a big pot, heat the oil and fry the onions two minutes. Add the garlic and cook till onions and garlic gets limp. Add the carrots, ground chile, chili powder,oregano, cumin, thyme, and salt to the pot and cook 30 seconds.

Add remaining chick broth (I used two cans), hominy, tomatoes, cilantro, flour, and reserved pork and broth. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. (I actually cooked it for about 2 hours)

Serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges (a MUST!), chopped onions, oregano and sour cream as a side. Tasty-Tasty. Makes a lot, you'll have leftovers. Enough for 10 people .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reduced For Quick Sale

There are little things in life that make me happy, one of them is a bargain. Albertson's here in town isn't the best looking grocery store, nor do they stock the most stuff, but every once in awhile, they got DEALS! Tracy clued me in to the 99 cent bread rack, and I've sniffed out the $3.99 king crab legs and $1.99 shrimp, but today I got giddy! I wasn't even looking, wasn't even in the mood when calling my name like a sea witch I hear "Tooooooddddddd? Psst!? Over here!! It's us!!! RED MEAT.....STEAKS!!!" And I'll be damned! Grain Fed natural beef and $2.99 a pound for rib eyes and T-Bones!! Can ya believe it!?!?! It's $10.99 for this stuff here! I bought all I could see, needless to say. And we're having them (just two) tomorrow. Yum.