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.

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.

Razor clam digging from ocean to table

Sorry I haven’t been about in ages. I’ve been hard at work on the book. Unfortunately I will not be able to sell them due to being disabled. So I might just give a few away once their finished. I noticed I had a few searches on razor clamswhile I was away. Specifically how to gather razor clams. There is three types of razor clams and I will discuss both in depth along with how to catch them.

I am most familiar with the first one the atlantic jackknife clam. The jack knife is called the bamboo clam, american jackknife clam and of course the razor clam. You can find them from south carolina all the way up to canada and even in europe.  These clams live in sand and mud.  You have to look at intertidal and subtidal zones in bays and estuaries. Here in Rhode Island you can find them in the salt water ponds. They can burrow in wet sand very quickly, and is also able to swim. It gets its name from the rim of the shell being extremely sharp (stepping on one causes extreme pain and a trip to the doctor) and the shape of the clam overall has a strong resemblance to an old fashioned straight razor. These clams can and will out dig you. Harvesting methods can be limited, specifically here in rhode island your not allowed to use a dredge of any kind to collect them. Their location is revealed by a keyhole-shaped opening in the sand and when the clam is disturbed, a small jet of water squirts from this opening similar to steamer clams as the clam starts to dig. They are not really commercially fished because of the speed and the limited harvesting methods.  The best and easiest way to catch the atlantic jackknife is a method called scaring. This is done by pouring salt on the breathing hole and a little water, the clam will try to escape this extremely salt water coming to the surface and all you must do is grab the shell. Very simple method, though some people are confused as to what is poured on the breathing hole. You now know it’s salt. The same method of razor shells works, however they live only in sand. They are found eastern canada to northern europe. The pacific razor clam is a bit different still. They are larger, and can be 30 feet down in sandy beaches.  They can be found from Pismo beach in California, all the way up into the Aleutian islands in Alaska.  They can be almost 11 inches long in Alaska! Generally they are 3-6 inches in their southern range though.  Always check the public health regulations in your area, as clams of any type may be subject to pollution or toxins in the water.  These clams are commercially harvested. I have never dug for pacific razor clams, so I’m not sure how it’s done. I did find a website in Oregon with pictures that can help those on the pacific coast.

Now you know how to catch them. How do you clean them? Well one can clean them a number of ways. I purge them by letting them sit in salt water over night with bread crumbs so that they can remove the sand and grit from their bellies.

Another way to do it is to put them in a colander, then pour boiling water over them and then cold water this causes them to pop open. Then you remove the meat from the shell it’s fully cooked and we process the meat. Snip off the tough part of the neck just below the valve. Getting as close to the end as you can. Put the edge of your scissors in under the zipper and snip upward toward the end of the neck. Make sure your scissors go into the lower chamber of the neck to save time. If you missed it, put the scissors back in and cut through the lower chamber. Continue all the way through the end of the neck. Use your fingers to grab the foot and gills. Squeeze gently and pull to separate the foot from the body. After rinsing, the body is ready to eat. Snip at an angle across the end of the foot. Insert the scissors into the middle part of the foot. Cut all the way through the end of the foot, keeping in the middle so that the foot will lay flat for cooking. Pull the foot apart so that it lays flat. Pull the dark material from the foot. Only remove the dark material. Gently pull the foot flat and rinse. There will be soft material that remains on the foot. The foot is now ready to eat. At this point you can batter them and fry them if you wish.