Sloppy joes are an old standby. I usually brown the beef with chopped onions and add whatever comes to hand for a sauce – easiest is adding a favorite BBQ sauce but I rarely stop at that. Ketchup, a squeeze of mustard, steak sauces, soy sauce – I’ve used all of these either singly or in combination. A few minutes before serving, lay slices of cheese atop the mixture, cover, and let the cheese melt down. Scoop a portion out with a broad spatula and slide it off onto a waiting bun.Mrs J called for grilled hamburgers now that the Weber is set up on the front patio. I’m usually a pickle, onion, and mustard guy but I like ketchup on occasion. This one has a slice of provolone that’s just starting to sag. In a skillet on the stove top I let the cheese melt right on down but I’m not a huge fan of scraping burnt cheese off of a gas grill.
I found this recipe while looking for salad ideas and decided to give it a try. It’s pretty good, not change your life good but it is a nice change of pace. My mandoline doesn’t like the little fiddly jobs so I used a knife but it went pretty well, I didn’t do a whole lot of them. I added a packet of Splenda to mine, and a splash of rice vinegar because I thought it needed just a tad more tart.The meat of the menu was this pork tenderloin all pounded thin and breaded. I ate mine with a little chili sauce. The plate was rounded off with more of that loaded potato salad. I made a different batch with red potatoes this time but otherwise about the same. I did drop a glob of yogurt in with the sour cream and mayo for the dressing.
Last week I found a nice, small pork roast on sale and decided it would be perfect to make a slow-cooker pulled pork. That reminded me that it would be a good idea to revisit JeffreyW’s smoking adventures with his backyard smoker. I’ve pulled a few recipes, but if you search for “smoker” on the blog, you’ll find a whole lot more of his mouth-watering pictures and recipes.
Let’s start with my slow-cooker Easy Pulled Pork, I posted two ways to make it here.
Next up, JeffreyW makes an assortment of goodies in his smoker:
Here is his recommendation for a smoker and some tasty Ribs.
Homemade Pastrami (click here) – serious mouth-watering photos.
Smoked Chicken (photos and recipe here).
My youngest brother also jumped on the Smoker band wagon and sent me photos of a great meal that included Smoked Macaroni and Cheese (link here). He didn’t include a recipe, but I think it’s safe to say, make your favorite Mac ‘n Cheese, place in an aluminum pan, cover and smoke it for about 45 minutes to an hour at 165-180 degrees.
Smoker people seem very passionate, so if you’ve got the bug, hit the comments and share your experiences and expertise. What delicious things do you have planned this weekend? Anyone getting the grill out yet?
Tonight’s featured recipe from JeffreyW:
I thawed a beef brisket and was thinking corned beef but changed my mind. I have a fresh made pastrami on hand so I decided on a straight smoked brisket. The procedure is much the same as with making a pastrami except you are starting with a fresh beef beef brisket rather than a corned one. I suppose you could use the same dry rub for both but I wasn’t sure how the juniper berries in the pastrami rub would taste so I went with a more traditional rub. I was tossing various ingredients in and didn’t keep track of the amounts of each so I can’t do more than list them from memory: Black pepper, kosher salt, onion powder, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, ancho powder, regular chili powder, fresh ground cumin, some powder out of a bottle of Goya “Adobe Seasoning” (it’s yellow – go figure), creole/Cajun seasoning, oregano, and probably a few more.
I placed it on the top rack of my electric smoker, threaded the temp probe through the vent and into the thickest part, placed a drippings pan with an inch of apple cider under the meat, added the soaked hickory to the smoke chamber, closed the door and fired it up. It’s been cold and snowy so I knew it would take a good while to get to the “done” temperature but I wasn’t thinking 23 hours. That’s how long it spent in there before I pulled it. The probe was registering 176 degrees.
I pulled the first drippings pan out because I think it was keeping the inside temperature in the smoker too low and replaced it with a dry pan after about 12 hours. The quart of cider plus the drippings was reduced to what you see above. If I could make it by the gallon I’m pretty sure I would be a millionaire in short order. Awesome stuff.
That’s it for this week. No Bixby update, but he turns 10 months old this weekend, so I’ll put something together soon. Have a great weekend. – TaMara
Another homemade bun with some roast pork and Sweet Baby Ray. I made the eggs with a dab of the tzatziki, mayo, and a whiff of sour cream. There are chives in there as well as the dill from the tzatziki.Bonus Kitteh! Toby fled under the couch during a thunderstorm, here he is checking to see if it was safe to emerge.
This recipe is so simple and so very good. It’s great to make and then have ingredients for sandwiches all weekend. Eat cold or reheat, both are good.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
- 2-3 lb boneless pork roast
- salt and pepper
- cayenne or red chili pepper flakes (opt)
- red wine vinegar
- favorite barbecue sauce (JeffreyW and I are both fond of Sweet Baby Rays – I like the spicy)
- favorite rolls (I like multi-grain hoagie rolls)
Remove the string ties from the pork roast. Spread the roast out, season all sections with salt, pepper and if you like, cayenne or chili pepper flakes. Roll back up and place in the slow-cooker (don’t tie it up again). Add red wine vinegar (about 2 tbsp or more as desired). Cover and cook according to slow-cooker directions – usually 8-10 hours on low. Keep that lid closed.
Once its cooked, remove the roast and pour off all but about 2 tbsp of the liquid and fat. Shred the roast and return it to the slow-cooker, add barbecue sauce, start with 1/4 cup and add more as desired. I eventually used about 1/2 cup and a little bit more each time I reheated.
Don’t want barbecued pork, how about Carnitas? Just change out the spices:
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 orange, cut in half
Mix together spices and oil and rub over the roast liberally. Add the roast, garlic and jalapeno to the slow-cooker. Squeeze the orange over the meat before adding it as well. Cover and cook as above. No need to drain, just shred the pork and serve on tortillas.
We had gyros yesterday using store bought pita loaves and they just weren’t that good. I’m guessing the turnover on flat breads isn’t very high and they were a tad stale. I’ve made pitas before but it’s been a while so I looked up a recipe. The NY Times recipe came up first and it looked to be easy. We didn’t have any whole wheat flour, fresh milled or otherwise, so these are made with plain AP flour. The only thing you need to watch for is getting them too brown. The recipe warns: “The pita should be pale, with only a few brown speckles.” The brown parts are very dry and fragile and crack apart rather than fold. I have a pizza stone in my oven, big enough to do two of these at a time without crowding. A couple of them puffed up like little pillows but most of them just blistered here and there.The loaf is from Alton Brown’s recipe, as is the tzatziki sauce. I make a few alterations in his recipe, adding 1/3 part hamburger and several slices of bacon to the loaf recipe and this time I added fresh chopped dill to the yogurt sauce. I haven’t used lettuce before but I thought it needed a little more green and we had no mint for a garnish.
I see this on offer at the Kroger deli pretty often and I’ve bought, and liked it, but it seemed a tad too expensive so I looked for a recipe. I found this one and used it for a guide. This one has two potatoes and the other ingredients are scaled to suit. I used four slices of bacon and two or three green onions and a handful of a cheddar/Monterey jack mixture left over from another dish. Use about 2 to 1 sour cream to mayo in a quantity sufficient to lube it all up. I boiled 6 eggs to make deviled eggs for an additional side and Mrs J suggested adding a couple to the potato salad. They work fine in there. I saw a recipe that mentioned baking the mixture until the cheese melts but I went with a cold dish. Made an excellent side for the roast pork sammich.
We didn’t do anything in particular for Easter, the only eggs I boiled were for a potato salad. Now that the grill is out and tuned up we’ll be enjoying picnic style dinners more often. These are some baby back ribs I finished off on the grill after cooking them in the oven for an hour. I was afraid they would be falling apart and hard to transfer but they were still solidly attached to the bone so no problem. They got a dry rub and then were basted with BBQ sauce for the finish. Sides are slaw that came from a KFC copycat recipe and the potato salad I mentioned above.Hi! I’m Zelda! This is my box! I’m 7 months old.This is MY box!!I made another batch of those buns. Divided the dough into 8 parts and they are huge! The last batch was cut into 10 and they turned out a tad too small. I think maybe they didn’t rise as much as this batch. The rings are from this recipe and they turned out great, again.This is a 4 month old male and he has a twin brother – they named them Gabriel and George but no one there can say for sure which is Gabe. They’ve had their shots and have been neutered and are ready to go.Thin sliced chicken breasts, dredged in flour, egg, and bread crumbs. The pink looking spread on the bun is a sriracha aioli with a dab of sour cream mixed in. Tasty! I don’t remember when I bought that asparagus but it’s been in the fridge, standing on end in a tumbler in a few inches of water, covered with the plastic bag I brought them home from the market in. Aside from a little loss of color on the bottom end they stayed in very good shape. I’m sure it’s been over a week.Here’s another of those huge buns. That’s a half pound burger and it looks puny in there. And those fries! I bought a bag of jumbo potatoes and pulled out a couple to cut for fries and they were the biggest I’ve ever brought home. Look at that log!