Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak, and possible cookbook

Well I have gone and applied for disability, kinda stinks, but I haven't been able to be a reliable employee for quite a while due to my abdominal issue (bosses don't like when you miss a week a month, and haven't been able to work since June) so to supplement my income I am thinking of writing an e-book cookbook, of course knowing me, I'll be through the whole disability process before I get done, but hey, it's an idea. I have seen a few people on their blogs, and on pinterest doing Philly cheesesteaks, and it made me crave one, I hadn't really made a decent one before, I always used the steakum things (convenience won, and it's not like I was trying to eat healthy at that point), but since I had to cut back on greasy food, I figured might as well give it a shot. I am still no baker, so I buy hoagie rolls from the bakery, but may soon try making something (my ex does have a bread machine in storage hmm). The cut of meat to me doesn't matter, but the more marbling the harder it is to get decent slices, but the more tender it is, flank steak or skirt steak works well, but can be a bit tough for some people. I am still trying to find a steak marinade better than the store bought one, but to me it is just too good. I also use provolone most of the time, but cheez whiz is the proper way, and both also works well.

Sub roll
1 steak sliced thinly across grain, and on a bias (helps if you put in freezer for 15 minutes or so before cutting)
1 bottle Moore's steak marinade
dash cumin
1 small onion (sliced)
2 jarred jalapenos (use a little of the liquid to cook the meat in with the oil) chopped, optional
olive oil
4 slices provolone

Marinate your meat for at least an hour (I do mine prior to cutting)
In a large skillet add oil, and pepper juice, add onion, and saute over medium heat, add meat, and cumin and cook through, add peppers, and cook additional minute.
slice roll, and add mayo, fill with meat, top with cheese.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Been feeling rotten again, so haven't been doing much in the kitchen, but thought I'd share this one with you. A very basic salsa, but it works, and tastes pretty good too. You can use any type of pepper depending on how much heat you like (I like jalapeno for the whole family, and habenero for me)

2 cups chopped tomato (just cut into pieces for food processor)
1 small minced onion
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 tablespoon oregano
1 chopped stemmed, and seeded pepper of choice
1 tablespoon canola oil
Salt to taste

Blend all but salt in food processor, add salt small amounts at a time just prior to serving, as it will make the salsa weep.

Works great on corn tortillas, or in many recipes. I've been playing with baked tortilla chips, but they keep coming out either rubbery, or too brown.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Pulled pork

Something I love making because it's so easy, but we don't do it often because it's also time consuming. We are having the Elders over for dinner tonight so it's been planned, and makes a bunch. Goes great with some baked beans (which sadly I don't have a good recipe for yet, my mother in law doesn't let me make them).

3 lb pork roast
1 cup vinegar (I use white, but apple cider is also really good)
garlic powder
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf (I crumble mine but could be left whole, just remove it before shredding pork)
Hamburger buns
bottle bbq sauce (mine, one batch is pretty close for us)

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder all sides of the roast, and put in slow cooker. Add 1 cup of vinegar, and fill remaining with water (make sure it will stay covered during cooking). Cook on low for 12-20 hours (for 2 we do 20, with one we start checking at 12) or until tender and shreds easy

Remove pork to large bowl, and using 2 forks shred (just so there are no big chunks). Empty liquid from slow cooker, and replace meat, mix in bbq sauce, and heat until hot.

Serve on buns with pickles, if too dry add more sauce (ours are fairly wet, but does vary with brand of sauce)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Super easy chicken casserole

We had a whole chicken we needed to use up, and wanted something different, but easy. So we threw this concoction together, and it was a real hit (the kids and I ate half the pan). We boiled the chicken, but I bet it would be great with a rotisserie chicken, or whatever you have left over. We used peas, which were ok, but we want to try broccoli next time.

1 whole chicken cooked, and removed from bone and shredded
2 large packages yellow rice
1 can peas
2 cans cream of chicken soup
garlic powder
shredded cheddar cheese

Boil chicken with salt and garlic powder (or use whatever chicken you want, but this makes some broth to use to make rice), once cooked set aside to cool.
Once cool shred chicken.
Prepare rice per package directions, I use chicken broth for the water
Prepare soup using about 1/2 liquid normal (again use some broth instead of water)
mix chicken, rice and peas in a large bowl (best done by hand)
pour mixture into a greased casserole dish
pour soup over top
top with cheese
bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cheese browns slightly
let stand for 10-15 minutes to thicken

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Buffalo chicken wings

My brother in law has an annual dinner for his birthday, he gets buffalo wings that his mother and I prepare. Takes a few hours ( we did 12 pounds today very little trimming) they then get treated like fried chicken with salt pepper, garlic, and flour. Fry them up until golden brown and remove to a drain pan while next batch cooks. Once they are all cooked and drained put them in a large bowl, put on some rubber gloves, and coat. If still warm let sit 30 minutes and recoat. The sauce I prefer is from moore's we buy it at the local market, and all the concoctions have failed to meet what it gives. Once fully covered let them sit a few minutes to bind (seem to taste better after setting ) serve with a bit of blue cheese dressing and extra milk. Great meal just takes us forever to fry up, and sure no pictures available. Hopefully in the near future i'll be doing the cooking in my apartment, so I may get to some images taken. I am posting this at 3:30 am after taking all me meds so I may be sluring my typing a bit, think of it even better than a drunk text, this is a medicated Mormon blog, so that it weird in its self. Hope everyone enjoys your days, and if you have something you want tried let me know I'm open to ruin a good idea(I just request the pointing and laughing is done not on the blog, maybe on Facebook)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Making steak

I was reading on another blog yesterday, and she commented about how restaurants do it, and it's very similar to what my grandma did (who was a professional chef). All you do is use a cast iron skillet (really hot) to sear on both sides with a little butter. Then you put the whole thing in a 400 degree oven for 5-7minutes turning once until done. Now the spice concoction for topping the steak prior to cooking. Mine is garlic, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, and a little red pepper. Be sure the steaks are cut 1- 1 1/2 inch thick for best flavor, plus much thinner and it may as well be shoe leather. Play with your favorite spices, and just think no buying propane and cleaning the grill outside.The outside grill is great for hot dogs, hamburgers, and maybe even some chicken. Now the questions come of no cast iron, substitute a good stainless steel (check the handle is oven proof) non stick won't work due to temps, will tear up the coating, and depending on if the bloggers are right they give off bad fumes. A decent stainless pan is about $40 cast iron about the same.Cast iron has a bad reputation on glass top stoves. It's partially earned they are heavy and could if dropped hard may crack the glass (saw it twice working in a service center) they also hold heat against the burner that may lower its lifespan a couple years (15 instead of 20 type thing) I use stainless because I own it, I want good cast iron, but haven't needed it myself yet (mother in law makes corn bread)
Now serving the steak you put a tablespoon of butter on it (herbed is good) and will taste very close to your favorite restaurant makes. And clean up is one pan, and maybe just a rinse out for the cast iron. Something I am noticing is it is really hard to post the blog after taking me sleep meds. Hopefully this all makes sense. If you are unsure on trying it, and are local to Mobile I'll bring my pans and cook you a steak(you buy the steak). Hope you enjoy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kielbasa with sauerkraut

One of my favorite dishes is also one of the easiest ever. If you can cut some sausage into chunks, and open a can (or jar) of sauerkraut, you can make this.All you do is take a package of kielbasa, cut into chunks about 1/2 inch thick or so, put in a skillet and cook briefly (just a little carmalization) add a large can of sauerkraut, and mix, cook on medium heat until heated through, serve. Not much easier than that, and my kids devour it (last time I made it for myself, I was surprised to have finished it all off). Bonus use the left over sauerkraut on your hot dogs, it's gets a little flavor from the sausage, and is great for topping. I like to make my mac and cheese to got with it

Monday, March 5, 2012

Caring for Knives

I'm slacking, sorry. Haven't felt well all week, so living off simple stuff (hamburgers and the like). I figure this might be a good time to talk about knives, especially since I just sharpened all of mine last night. The biggest mistake we all make is buying bad materials, a good knife won't be stainless steel (not to be confused with stain free) they won't hold an edge, and don't sharpen well. The biggest issue is go to the store and try and buy a knife that isn't stainless or an arm and a tank of gas. I buy high carbon steel. Now storage, the worst place is the silverware drawer, they bang together, and dull, plus you could get cut reaching in. If you have to use a drawer put some type of sheath over the knife, just keep in mind they can still get bumped, and the sheath will dull the knife a little (just like cutting with it). Next is the old wooden blocks, they are handy, and do protect them, but they can hold dirt, and if you happen to put one in damp, nasty stuff can grow. The best option is a magnetic strip, they are kept away from bumps, and open air so they dry nicely, downside, is you could knock another one down getting one. Now washing, this is one of the items that should never go in the dishwasher, they bang against other stuff, and if the handles are wood they will dry out and split, plus they will loosen up and eventually fail. Also don't drop them in your soapy water, you could get cut, and it's too much water especially for the handles.  Ideally you should use a honing steel before you use a knife (I don't with my paring knives) except serrated knives of course. Your cutting board is also important, a nice marble or glass one that looks really pretty is horrible for the knives. I use a wood one for veggies, and a plastic one for meats. Sharpening the knife when it dulls is important, if you are experienced a whet stone works great (every butcher I met uses them, and I do too), one of the sharpening gadgets will also work, although I don't think they are all created equal, and I rarely trust pitchmen (I don't own any), finally there is always a professional, but that can get expensive, so if it's not a high end knife I'd stick with one of the other options. I don't have any ceramic knives, but I want one, so I don't know the care of them, but since they are glass, you need to be careful. Hopefully I can post a bit more this week