Enlightenment on sumac


Any time you mention sumac you think of poison sumac also known as poison oak. Sumac while related to poison oak is related to the sumac spice. Sumac is the berry from a shrubby little plant growing in the middle east and parts of Italy. The spice looks black, but the berries when fresh are a brick red. You can buy them ground or whole dried berries. The leaves and bark of the plant was used for tanning leather. It is tart rather astringent and has been used as a souring agent. The spice is rather delicious on grilled meats, fish, ligumes, veggies and even rice. If you’d like to try using it, it can be found in any well stocked middle eastern market place.

Middle eastern grilled monkfish with flat bread dip

2 monkfish filet (about 2 pounds)
4 Tablespoons ground sumac
8 Teaspoons toasted sesame seed
8 Tablespoons thyme
2 Teaspoon fine pink himilayan salt
olive oil to coat fish filets

Wash the monkfish filets under cold water. Find and trim off the blue membrain as it’s inedible. Coat monkfish in olive oil and dredge in the remaining spices. Place on grill of a medium heat (it is ready when you hold your hand 1 inch off the grate and count 1 mississippi, 2 mississippi, 3 mississippi, ouch). Allow to cook 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Flat bread dip

1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sumac

whisk together and enjoy with a bread of your choosing.

The don of meatloaf


One thing I realized my site does not have is my meatloaf recipe. It is the don of meatloaves. There’s lots of goodies in it. Bits of bacon mixed in, there’s chunks of feta, olives, onions and garlic.

 

Soak the sliced italian bread in the milk for several minutes in a large mixing bowl. While it is soaking turn the oven onto 200 degrees F.  Place the ground meat, garlic bacon, eggs, salts, pepper, parsley, cheeses, olives, and onions into the soaked bread. Mix by hand until it all comes together and is well mixed. Turn out onto pan and shape into 4 loaves. (I have a cooling rack that is nothing more then a chunk of 1/4 inch thick steel with 1/3 inch holds drilled in it. I place it over a turkey roasting pan 1/2 full of water. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS.) Place into oven and let cook 8-12 hours. After the 8-12 hours has passed apply your favorite sauce ontop of meatloaves and turn to 350 degrees F and allow to bake for another 15 to 30 minutes.

When it is done it will be sticky on the outside, and so moist and tender inside that you can microwave it the next day and not have it dry out on you which most meat loaves others have made for me tend to do. The onions will be clear, the garlic soft and delicious, the bacon flimsy yet delicious. The best thing of all, it’s a great meal that one can cook all day. No longer do you have to rush to get a meatloaf done, you can set it, and forget it.

Typically I use a apple bbq sauce with burbon in it.

Red Eye Santa Maria tri-tip or steak rub


I love my meat expecially for labor day.  Delicious on tri tips or steaks. Tri-tip comes from the bottom sirloin. Absolutely delicious. If one cannot find a tri-tip  then look for a 2 inch thick or greater well marbled sirloin steak, or london broil.

Throw the above into a bowl and whisk it togther with a wire whisk.  Place the meat on a flat pan and rub the seasoning on all sides until well covered. I like to sear the tri-tip on all sides then put it on a red oak fire indirect heat with an aluminum pan under it to catch the drippings.  I try to keep the grill at 250 for 20-40 minutes. I check the internal temp with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s at that 120 degrees (rare), 140 for medium.  I then remove from the grill tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. I do not trim the tri-tip at all and tend to cook with the fat side up so it bastes it’s self in it’s own juices. I then gather the juices and make a gravy. Absolutely delicious and tender, you can do the same thing with a steak on the grill or go even further with chicken.

To the dads, grilled mac and cheese


Well father’s day is upon us. With this in mind I thought of a simple yet delicious recipe that dads would love. I’m thinking  grilled mac and cheese with chorizo, fire roasted onions, chiles and corn, maybe some left over on some grilled bread for a great sandwich!
Father’s day grilled mac and cheese

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 cups (about 8 ounces) elbow macaroni
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 ears sweet corn, shucked
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper
6 to 8 New Mexican green chiles or Anaheim or California peppers, or
2 to 4 poblano peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated smoked cheese, preferably smoked Cheddar, smoked pepperjack, or equal amounts of both
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (preferably homemade)
6 ounces crumbled spanish chorizo

A cast iron skillet, aluminum foil roasting pan or drip pan, or grill-proof baking dish (about 9 by 12 inches), sprayed or brushed with oil; 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory); soaked for 1 hour in mock burbon/water to cover (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon vanilla makes 1 cup mock burbon), then drained

Bring 8 quarts of lightly salted water to a rapid boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a large colander, rinse with cold water until cool, and drain again. Toss the macaroni with the oil to prevent sticking.

Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

When ready to cook, lightly brush the corn and onion with half of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place chorizo in a small metal pan and brown after putting the corn and onion on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes in all) for the corn, and 3 to 4 minutes per side (9 to 12 minutes in all) for the onion, turning with tongs as needed. Add the chiles and peppers to the hot grate and grill until the skins are charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side (6 to 10 minutes in all) for the New Mexican chiles, or 3 to 5 minutes per side (12 to 20 minutes in all) for the poblano peppers, and 4 to 6 minutes per side (16 to 24 minutes in all) for the bell peppers. Transfer the corn, chorizo and onion to a cutting board and let cool.

Transfer the grilled chiles and bell peppers to a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes (the steam trapped by the plastic wrap helps loosen the skin from the peppers). Scrape the skin off the cooled peppers, then core and seed them.

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs using lengthwise strokes of a sharp butcher knife. Thinly slice the onion quarters crosswise. Cut the chiles and peppers into 1/4-inch dice.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until soft but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and grilled onion, chorizo, chiles, and bell peppers. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the half-and-half and increase the heat to high. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes, stirring well; it should thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard and cooked macaroni, followed by the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; the mixture should be highly seasoned. Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the cast iron skillet or oiled aluminum foil pan. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni with the bread crumbs and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over the bread crumbs.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium-high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks, if desired, on the coals.

When ready to cook, place the macaroni and cheese in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the macaroni and cheese until the sauce is bubbly and the top is crusty and brown, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with dad’s favorite beer, a grilled meat that he likes, and some grilled potatoes with gravy. What better way to say we love you dad then a whole meal made on the grill for him?

Maybe slap some on some nice toasted garlic bread for a sandwich.

Amish style potato salad


Well I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much. Life has been getting into the way. I’ve also been sleeping really odd hours. So going to try to bang out a few recipes a week now rather then every day till things become normal.

 

2 beaten egg
1 cup honey
2 tbsp. corn flour
1 cup water
1 cup apple vinegar
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Combine in the order given, stirring after each addition. Boil until thick. Cool before adding to the potatoes to make Amish potato salad.

Grilled salmon with lemon mint butter


I love lemon, I love mint, and I love butter on my grilled salmon. It’s just lovely.

 

  • 6 (6-oz) pieces center-cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons lemon mint butter (recipe below)

Lemon mint butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon mint diced
  • 6 tablespoons butter

To make lemon mint butter, slowly melt butter add mint and lemon juice and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Shut off heat and keep warm.

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).

Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh sides down, on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using gas grill) 4 minutes. Check for grill marks, then turn fillets over and grill indirect heat (covered only if using gas grill) until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Once done remove from grill leaving skin behind, sprinkle with lemon mint butter and your ready to enjoy.

Porcellum Assum Tractomelinum


Roast Suckling Pig with a Pastry and Honey Stuffing Or Porcellum Assum Tractomelinum in latin.

1 whole suckling pig
3 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup honey
2 1/2 cups red wine
2 bayleaves
1.5 lb dried pastry, flaked (They used some stale danishs)

Clean and gut the suckling pig through the neck then set aside. Combine the black pepper, honey, wine and bayleaves in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then take off the heat and remove the bayleaf. Work in the crumbled pastry, stirring until the mixture is thick and the blend is smooth. Pour the mixture through the neck of the suckling pig then bind closed with skewers and cover with foil. Sit on a rack in a roasting tin then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 430°F and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 320°F and continue roasting for 50 minutes per kg, or until the skin is crisp and the meat is thoroughly cooked (check that the meat juices run clear by piercing in the thickest part of the roast). Remove the pig from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, carve and serve.

It was very delicious. It was served to me by a greek couple in the neighborhood who invited my babes and I to dinner to thank me for turning a few of their hogs into sausage for them. It was very very good. So good I had to share. It was moist, tender, the stuffing was flavorful and also decently moist.