Taco empanadas with taco dipping sauce


An empanada is a delicious thing. There are many variations on filling all over the world. The originated from the Ilberian peninsula in the middle ages during the time of the Moor invasion. I have a favorite, and that’s Taco Empanadas.

30 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 3/4 lb of unsalted butter cut into 120 pieces, fresh out of the fridge
20 eggs (reserve half for the egg wash)
2 1/2 to 3 cups of water
Egg wash: 10 egg whisked with 10 tablespoon milk

Add flour and salt into a bowl and mix by hand. Add eggs, butter, and water and if you wish it some seasoning, I add cayenne or dried pablano pepper powder and begin mixing until a ball of dough forms. You don’t need to knead. Roll this spiced dough out flat and cut into 200 (yes 200) small circles using a small plate. I refrigerate these stacking them with wax paper between them. Now we make the filling.

5 pounds shredded lettuce
7 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 1/2 pounds chorizo sausage
4 cans of refried beans
10 white onions diced
20 tablespoons paprika
10 tablespoons cumin
5 tablespoons black pepper
10 tablespoons hot sauce (I use this stuff Red Lightning Hot Sauce)
10 tablespoons olive oil

To make the filling get a 20 inch campfire skillet screaming hot and add the oil, ground beef, chorizo, onions, paprika, cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, and let cook 10 minutes stirring, then add in the refried beans and lettuce and stir another 10 minutes until well blended. Remove from heat and let’s fill our empanadas.

Once the mix is cooled we’re ready to start. Spoon some of the mix in the middle of the dough, and fold over pressing out air pockets and brush the edges with the egg wash. Crimp the edges with a fork, I find 1-2 tablespoons of mixture works. Repeat this until you got 200 filled empanadas and no more mixture left over, it’s fine if you do reward yourself. Then we make our dipping sauce before we fry them.

To make our dipping sauce we need: 2 tubs of sour cream, and 4 jars of salsa. The salsa I use can be found here Smoky salsa. Just mix the sour cream into the salsa until well blended with a spoon, leave the spoon on a plate next to the dip, it’s usually a bit too thick for dipping so it’s more of a topping but yummy none the less, it should be deep pinkish red in color.

Now we fry our empanadas. Fry in oil until brown in batches of 5 at a time. Remove once golden with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Absolutely delicious.

An ode to homer


Cover of "The Simpsons Movie (Widescreen ...

Cover of The Simpsons Movie (Widescreen Edition)

No not the greek poet. Watch the simpson’s movie and chief wiggam almost shot himself while eating donuts. Something homer and I share is a love of donuts. So I’m thinkin of that I’ve never had is fried cake donut. Not sure if they’d fry up right, but I figure the idea’s there always room to experiment.  The dough will probably be a bit sticky so flour whatever you use to cut the donuts. So here we go homer’s donut.

 

Homer‘s donut

Mix oil and egg in a bowl until combined, add in baking powder, sugar, salt, and flours and fold together unitl it forms a crumbly mix. Slowly stir in brandy, moonshine and milk. Flour your hands and turn out onto floured board and let sit in the oven for 2 hours. Roll dough out to desired thickness (I’m thinking 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, anything thicker might leave the center raw and uncooked.) and either cut out with a cookie cutter or a tin can, or a cup. Cut out as many donuts as you can get, might be some left over, can twist it together and you can make donut sticks! Heat oil in a pan until you can stick in a bamboo skewer and it bubbles vigorously, or a cube of bread browns in a minute. Lay your donuts a few at a time in the oil and fry until golden brown flipping with a spider half way through cooking. (Probably 3-4 minutes, maybe more depending on thickness) Once cooked, remove from pan of oil and roll in cinnamon sugar. (My cinnamon sugar is 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice) Knowing homer like I do from watching the show, I think a glaze would be required, a simple glaze of 1/4 cup milk, 2 cups cinnamon sugar, and 1 teaspoon of apple pie moonshine be awesome. Definetly not healthy, but sounds like something homer would enjoy.

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.

sugarless pumpkin oat bread


Well with the latest smear campaign against me, I decided to finally put things to bed. So here’s my recipe which inspired my sugarless pumpkin oatmeal cookies with pecans. The ones that are the subject of the smear campaign. My bread calls for some unusual things, apple and banana flour. What is apple and banana flour? It is dried apple and banana chips that have been ground into flour using a blender or mill. This recipe makes 12 loaves and generally is only made by me during the holidays. If you’d like to see the recipe that’s gotten me the smear campaign which I believe is nothing more then a publicity stunt on their part, you can view that here. My recipe target of a vindictive smear campaign.  Before I get smeared for this bread recipe, I’ll take the liberty of explaining why I used the ingredients in this bread. The apple flour is a natural sugarless sweetener providing your using unsweetened apple chips. Olive oil is rich in antioxidents and other goodies believed to fight off cancer, as well as heart disease. It’s also got a pleasing flavor. The egg whites is mainly cause again, my doctor wants me away from egg yolks. The pumpkin is cause usually around fall I have a bumper crop of pumpkin. The spelt is easy to digest, and the older relatives some of which have a gluten allergy can’t have regular flour. The mashed banana helps bind everything even the flour version helps. Though if you are using banana flour I recommend adding a bit of water, or apple juice or apple jack until the dough feels right to you. Cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla, all spices contained in pumpkin pie spice and I tend to like pumpkin pie spice with pumpkin, think any and every American likes these spices in their pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread. Coconut is delicious with pumpkin, and unfortunately since I’m allergic to nuts yet not allergic to coconut, I just simply can’t get enough, expecially toasted. It adds a crunch without the nasty allergic side effects, like death. I prefere to add steel cut oats or even swap out half oats for an equal amount of chocolate cause well oats, chocolate and pumpkin just taste good. The pink and red sea salts add a great flavor, and are filled with good healthy minerals. I’ll use red or pink salt or just omit. At one point I had chest pains up until a few years ago and have done my best to completely eliminate salt from my diet, and the high blood pressure and chest pains stopped. Baking powder and baking soda are required to make this quick bread rise, otherwise it be just too dense to enjoy.

Further more, and I hate to do this, but since I do like the offending parties vanilla extract I’ve been kind enough to link you to her recipe. Just click vanilla extract in the recipe list below.

Sugarless pumpkin oat bread

7 1/2 quarts ground apple flour (see commentary above)
2 1/2 cup olive oil
30 egg whites
10 lb pure pumpkin puree (fresh is best, but canned works too)
7 1/2 cups spelt plus extra for kneading
5 quarts mashed banana or banana flour (see notes)
2 1/2 cups cinnamon
1 1/4 cups allspice
3 1/3 tablespoons freshly ground nutmeg
3 1/3 tablespoons ground clove
5 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 cups fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons pink himilayan or red alaea hawaiian salt
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3 1/3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 quarts coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
2 1/2 quarts shredded coconut unsweetened (toasted)
2 1/2 quarts chocolate chips or steel cut oats (optional, steel cut oats is healthier)

Preheat oven to 350F.Add coconut in single layer on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted (5 minues) Turn heat to 375F With extra olive oil in a cheap spray bottle spray 12 bread pans that measure 9 by 5 by 3 inches. In a large bowl add in all dry ingredients, apple flour, spelt, allspice, freshly ground nutmeg, clove, salt, grated ginger, cinnamon, and banana flour if using. Add olive oil and ground apple flour in a bowl until blended. Mix in egg whites and pumpkin and banana and beat until it looks frothy like yeast. Add vanilla extract. Fold delicately with baking spatula and then whisk until well incorporated. Turn out onto clean work space dusted with spelt flour and knead for no more then 4 minutes or the delicate gluten will fall apart. Place dough in each bread pan, bake roughly 1 hour in batches of 4. It is ready when it is poked in the center with a skewer and it comes out clean. Let cool until easily handled. Using a sharp knife cut around the edges of each pan and turn out onto cooling racks. Slice and serve once cool. I doubt you can stop at just 1 slice.

My country cube steak with saw mill gravy for a crowd


I’ll let you in on a secret. I love red meat. Being a guy one could easily know that but I love bison cube steak when I can find it for a true country breakfest.

Mix together flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Dredge the Cube steak in the flour mix on both sides and set aside until all the yummy cube steaks are covered in flour. In a large camp fire skillet, add oil, garlic, and onions. When onions are clear remove from pan along with garlic. Add butter into pan and allow to melt. Once melted add in cube steaks. Watch them carefully, when the sides get a golden hay like color flip them and give them 1 more minute before removing from the pan. Turn off heat and remove grease by pouring through a fine mesh screen over a funnel into a mason jar.  This filters out the solid particles from the grease. Set this remaining grease aside in the mason jar. It will keep in the fridge for upto a week.

Take 9 tablespoons of this grease, 9 tablespoons of flour, 3 cups of half and half, and 1 pound crumbled breakfest sausage. Sift the flour into this remaining grease in the same pan you fried the cube steak. Stir it until it gets brown, I like a straw brown color. Pour in the half and half slowly while stirring constantly. Add in crumbled breakfest sausage, and stir until it’s thickened. At this point I add black pepper, about 3 tablespoons.  The breakfest sausage can be anything. Jimmy dean is good, or what ever you happen to have.

Serve with a side of mashed potatoes.

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.

Bison enchiladas


While down in texas my goddess’s grandmother made enchiladas, it was the first time I had ever had them. They were delicious, bit small, but delicious. This is the closest I have come to recreating the recipe.  There usually is left over filling for me but that’s fine I use it to stuff bell peppers or on toast.

8 medium onion, diced
24 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chili powder
24 teaspoons cumin
16 teaspoons sugar
16 cups tomato sauce
8 cup water
8 pound ground bison
16 cups mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups pickled poblanos, minced (I pickle them like japanenos only in deseeded strips)
8 fresh jalapeno, minced
2 cup cilantro, minced
48 12 inch corn tortillas (about 1 package where I shop, might vary)

Coat the bottom of a large camp skillet with olive oil and heat over medium low. Add onions and cover with a lit and let cook away until soft. Should be about 8 minutes. Remove the lid add in garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and stir 4 times. Stir in your homemade tomato sauce (you can use canned but I got plenty in the freezer) and water bring to a simmer and let simmer away until it thickens up. Stir in the ground bison and simmer over low covered until cooked. About 10 minutes or so. Strain the sauce to remove the solids from this lovely red sauce. Toss the bison, half the cheese, jalapenos and cilantro. Heat the over to 300 and add about 2/3rds of a cup of filling on warmed tortillas (can microwave them), roll and place seam side down. Repeat and lay each one on a sprayed cookie pan. Top with remaining cheese cover with foil and bake until heated through and cheese is melty. About 25 minutes. Delicious and twice the size of the one she made.