Tuesday, October 15, 2019

DIY Biscuit Mix

So awhile ago I inherited a treasure trove of recipes from my grandmother. It included a lot of things that can be made with Bisquick. A lot of them looked like they could be pretty fun to experiment with, but first I had to come up with my own baking mix. This is a modification of my own buttermilk biscuit recipe and, while it does need to be refrigerated, it can keep for two months if sealed and even longer in the freezer.

Ingredients:

500 gr AP flour
2 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ c buttermilk powder
½ c shortening, butter, or lard chilled and cut into cubes

Directions:

In a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk powder.
Pulse a few times to make sure everything is combined.
Add your choice of fat, one cube at a time, and pulse until incorporated before adding the next one.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two months.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

National Junk Food Day

Today is National Junk Food Day! I cannot think of a recipe of mine that more represents the spirit of the day then my Grillswith. You start with a donut, fry it a little more, and add ice cream. Which is also appropriate because it is National Ice Cream Day! Two for one! I love it when a plan comes together.

Checkout my Grillswith recipe here. It is one of my most popular, and with good reason.
A glazed donut shallow fried in butter and served with ice cream. Amazing.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

A delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs

Ingredients:

Sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 oz whiskey
ladle of water or pasta water

Meatballs:

2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb ground beef, veal, pork mix (often sold as "meatloaf mix")
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Sauce:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
Sauté the minced garlic until nicely browned.
Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to just maintain a simmer.
Stir in the salt, herbs, and whiskey and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.
If the sauce gets too thick, stir in a ladle full, my ladle is about half a cup, of water. The best would be water from cooking pasta, but just a ladle of water will do fine.

Meatballs:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and and grease or line a baking tray with non stick paper.
Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a mixing bowl until everything is just combined. The more you handle the ingredients the tougher your meatballs will be, so less is more.
Form into 1" balls, or golf ball sized balls.*
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and lightly brown.

If you time it right, you can get these all done at roughly the same time. Add the meatballs to the sauce and serve over pasta, or ladle some sauce over pasta and place some meatballs on top, however you want to serve it. Enjoy!

*If you are going to be making a meatball sandwich like a meatball sub or meatball parm, make the balls a bit larger, you will just have to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs

A delicious plate of BBq ribs
To me, nothing says 4th of July like a plate of ribs. Grilled and especially smoked ribs might be the definitive expression of the art, but nothing gets consistently quality results like a slow cooker. Also, the 4th in my area is promising to be a rainy one, which will push people inside and grilling in bad weather is only fun to a select group of odd balls (like me). So, to make sure no ones celebration is spoiled, here is a good recipe to use if it (literally) rains on your parade.

Ingredients:

1 rack of spare ribs*
½ C brown sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp red pepper
BBQ sauce**

Directions:

Cut the ribs in half so they fit better in a slow cooker. Pat dry with some paper towels to help the dry rub stick.
Mix together everything remaining except the BBQ sauce and rub onto the ribs. Make sure you cover both sides and every edge.
Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 or until they reach an internal temp of 190-205 F. Yes, this is way higher than the done temp for pork, but ribs, especially spare ribs, have a lot of fat and collagen in them. This needs to be rendered out for the ribs to be their best. If you cook to the usual pork temp of 160 F you will have much tougher and fattier ribs. This makes it difficult for low and slow methods to over-cook ribs, but it is easy to under-cook them.
Once they have reached temp, remove and let them rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into portions. I like to get them into pairs so people do not have to commit to a half or full rack, but can still take a plateful. Toss in BBQ sauce and serve, with plenty of napkins, to a grateful world.

*This recipe was specifically made with spare ribs in mind. If you are using baby-back ribs, you might need to adjust times.
**I made this dry rub to specifically go with my BBQ sauce recipe by using the same base of spices, but any sauce that goes well with some sweet heat will work great.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

BBQ Sauce

We are nearly at the 4th of July so it is time for cookouts, grilling, good food, and time with friends and family. By far one of the most common condiments needed for a successful cookout is a quality BBQ sauce. Why not impress your friends and be the talk of the cul de sac with a homemade BBQ sauce? It is amazingly easy to make and a great way to add that last layer of finger-licking goodness of a classic cookout.

Ingredients:

1½ C ketchup
½  C brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ smoked paprika
½ chili powder
½ hot sauce

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Store in a squirt bottle or jar in the fridge.
See, told you it was easy.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Recipe Collection

I apologize for not posting during the month of June. I can make excuses about how school was commanding all of my time, and that would be true. However the real truth, then I was sad. June is probably always going to be a  rough month for me since it contains both Father's Day and my father's birthday. For anyone who is new here, my father passed away in September of 2016.

 In June, we also moved my grandmother out of her Independent Living Community and into an Assisted-Living Community. This brought up some more complicated emotions and did not really do anything to improve my emotional outlook.

Obviously I'm not alone in this, I go through this with my wife by my side and with my whole family. I cannot thank them enough for their support.

With the sappy stuff out of the way, let's move on to the fun stuff. Part of moving my grandmother out of her apartment involved me getting most of her recipes. I now have a treasure trove of recipes from as far back as the early 1950s.
Many of these are from friends of the family, many are my grandmother's originals, and some even come from my great grandmothers.

Some of these are a little odd, and definitely a little old school, but I'm excited to give them a try. I’ll be spending a lot of the summer trying them out, modifying them, and posting them here for you. I also plan on making some more videos for you all to enjoy.

Please pay attention to this space, there is a lot of great stuff coming.

PS. I'll be sharing my finished products here, but if you want a look at the process, be sure to support me on Patreon.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Chicken Carnitas

After spending some time eating vegetarian, I am trying to cut back on the meat I eat, and to eat more sustainably. This means relying more on chicken and fish as my staple proteins, rather than beef or pork.

This means I need to get a bit more creative to keep myself satisfied, so when a friend of mine asked for a chicken carnitas recipe to help him out, I jumped at the challenge.

Ingredients:

4 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow onion
2 jalapenos
¼ c olive oil
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp oil

Directions:

Put the chicken thighs in a slow cooker. Peel and crush your garlic, peel and quarter your onion, roughly chop your jalapenos. Place everything, except the last 2 tbsp of oil, in your slow cooker and toss to make sure it is all well combined.

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Once cooked through and tender, remove the chicken and drain the liquid through a mesh strainer and reserve.

Chill both for a few hours or over night.

You can skim the fat off the liquid once it is cool, or stick in the freezer for an hour to make it easy to scoop off.

Once the chicken is fully cooled shred-it using either your hands or a fork or chop it into small pieces.

To reheat, pour 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a large pan, once the oil is shimmering, add your shredded chicken in one layer and sear without moving for 2 minutes to build up the characteristic crust. Poor in reserved one cup of cooking liquid and stir until heated through.

Serve on warm tortillas with chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, and crema or sour cream. It also works great on nachos and it keeps well in the freezer.