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.

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.

Crab and Avocado Quesadilla with avocado salsa


Avocado Sandwich

Avocado Sandwich (Photo credit: J. Chris Vaughan)

I love crab and Avocados, so here’s a recipe I love to have when I got the fixing.  I do sometimes use garlic instead of shallots on occation and do sometimes add corn to the salsa and of course I do sometimes add mint butter/oil. Just simmer some mint in some butter until fried, or olive oil instead of butter.  The crab I recommend most is New England Blue crab if you can get it. The crabs here are nice and sweet, so is maryland blue crab but generally more expensive. A trick to remove those tough slippery round seeds in the avocado is to use your knife and thwack it with the edge hard so it bites into the seed and then you can turn it and twist it out.

Crab and Avocado Quesadilla with avocado salsa

  • 6 ripe Hass avocados, cut in small chunks, divided
  • 2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, divided
  • 4 Jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 8 teaspoons lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 12 ounces picked crab meat
  • 4 tablespoons chopped scallions, light green parts only
  • 8 (10-inch) corn tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

In a serving bowl, combine 2/3 rds of avocado, 2/3 rds of cherry tomatoes, 1/2 of jalapeno, cilantro, shallots, and lime juice. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine remaining avocado, tomato, jalapeno, cheese, crab meat, and scallions in a medium bowl and toss to mix. Divide mixture evenly between tortillas, covering half of each tortilla and leaving a 1/2-inch gap around the edge. Fold tortillas to close quesadillas. Heat 1 of oil in 10-inch stainless steel skillet over medium heat until scortching. Carefully add two folded tortillas to skillet and cook, shaking pan gently until first side is golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully fip tortillas with a flexible slotted spatula, sprinkle with salt, and cook on second side until golden brown and puffed, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Cut into wedges and serve with the avocado salsa.

 

Kulebyaka with meat


What is Kulebyaka? It is a russian tradition among the yamal. It is also called Kulebiaka. Kulebiaka is a rich flaky pastry usually filled with a mixture of salmon, cabbage, and mushrooms, but many other fillings are possible, then rolled up and baked. It is served hot or cold in thick slices, with the addition of extra butter and the inevitable sour cream. My recipe here uses musk ox tendon, mushrooms, cabbage, onions and of course musk ox meat.

Why am I tossing this recipe out? Someone searched for a pastry shaped like a pig with meat. I make my kulebyaka shaped like a pig and it is sometimes done by others. Where this came from I have no idea, probably the French.

Well here we go. Many people have never cooked tendon. Tendon is very tough. Expecially musk ox tendon and or beef tendon. Tendon has a unique flavor all it’s own. I cook my tendons with onions, garlic, and apple juice.

To do this one needs a pressure cooker.

2 lb tendon (beef or musk ox tendon visit your local butcher/slaughter house)
1/2 cup apple juice
3 cloves garlic
1 onion
10 cups waters
1/4 cup apple vinegar

Mix all ingredients in a pressure cooker, bring to high pressure (15 pound psi) and cook for 2 hours! (make sure there’s enough water to prevent the bottom of the pan from drying out. They will be tender rather then tough and easy to chop when done.

Now we make the kulebyaka.

2 lb tendon
2 lb ground musk ox (or beef)
4 onions
1 cup chopped mushroom
1 cup chopped cabbage
4 lbs flour (white)

Roll and shape the dough into an oval piece 1/4-inch thick. Brown the beef and crumble, slice tendon into thin slivers, cool and add cabbage, slightly browned onions, salt, pepper and minced parsley. Pour melted butter and meat broth into the filling. Then pile it up on each piece, pinch the opposite edges of the dough and place on the buttered baking sheet, with its seam down, shaping it as a suckling-pig. To make the kulebyaka keep its shape, thicken the dough with flour on the table. To give a natural look to the pig’s ears, nose and tail and to make them safely pass through a baking process, rub flour on the table into a lump of dough intended for these purposes. Attach all details made of dough to the pie by egg, and brush the surface with egg yolk – this helps get the deep amber color. Use large black raisins or large peppercorns to imitate the pig’s eyes. I’m sorry I don’t know how much liquid to make the dough, I never measure it’s all done by feel. The dough is ready when it won’t stick to your fingers like a bread dough.

Prick the surface and sides with a fork and brush them up with the beaten yolk of egg. Bake at 410° to 426° F until it has the deep amber color.

Don’t knock it till you try it.