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Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:59 am
by Ridgerunner
Sounds very tasty, churro :bbq: :hungry:

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:32 pm
by churro
Turned out good, though I suspect the ham was fully cooked, already. I have 2 more hams from a pig I bought a while back that are both uncured and uncooked, so I'll have more control next time.

I love the Traeger grill. I didn't like the idea of a grill that needs to be plugged in, and requires a manufactured fuel source, but it also gives good, smokey flavor and you can just set it up and walk away for several hours. Works well. Perfect for a guy like me, who stocks the freezer with meat once a year and cooks in big batches.

The next project might be smoked mac and cheese. I made a point of having my grandmother teach me to make her famed mac and cheese before she died (no real recipe, just pay attention to textures and flavors- she was a home economics teacher for many years, and learned to cook during the depression). The plan is to bake it in the smoker- should be good. Maybe I'll add some roasted green chiles, bacon, ham or all of the aforementioned.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:54 pm
by zelph
So the grill is a pellet burning one. Do you have to put in a separate smoker tray or do the pellets add the smoke flavor? ... 6SCh2uLgZD

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:18 am
by churro
zelph wrote:So the grill is a pellet burning one. Do you have to put in a separate smoker tray or do the pellets add the smoke flavor? ... 6SCh2uLgZD

The pellets themselves provide the smoke. The sell pellets made from different woods- I am using applewood.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:03 pm
by zelph
Well that makes it convenient :D wish I had a stove/grill like that :P

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:01 pm
by churro
I found a great, easy recipe for the smoker:

Easy smoked mac and cheese:
2 cups penne noodles, dry and uncooked
1/2 stick melted butter
3 cups cheese (use several kinds- great way to use up those random lumps of cheese that pile up)
3 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream or evaporated milk
seasonings to taste

Put all the ingredients in a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan and smoke at 260 degrees F for 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes for the first 1 1/2 hours, then let brown on top for the last 1/2 hour.

I used 2 cups sharp cheddar, 3/4 cup swiss cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. I was low on milk and had no cream, so I used 1 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cup reconstituted dry milk and 2 cups evaporated (canned) milk. I seasoned it with cumin, red chile, salt, pepper and garlic powder, then added about 1 1/2 cup shredded beef (leftovers from tacos). When I stirred it for the last time, I stirred in some wild greens and spinach, then topped it with bread crumbs. Definitely take it out of the smoker at 2-2 1/2 hours so it does not dry out, and finish it under the broiler for a minute or two if you want the top a little darker.

It turned out great! It could certainly be done in the oven (maybe even a bread machine ;) ), or a dutch oven and probably a solar cooker, but you might want to add a little liquid smoke. The noodles fully cook and absorb most of the moisture and lots of flavor, leaving a creamy, smokey, cheesy sauce. Think of it like pizza- the basic recipe is just a starting point, then you can add whatever "toppings" you want.

While I was making this I was dreaming of other things: smoked lasagne, smoked croutons on a nice salad with some shaved parmesan, smoked pizza, smoked apple pie... :bbq:

The original recipe came from ""- I still can't figure out how to provide links on this new mac :cry:

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:00 pm
by zelph
Our co-hosts at the campground has a nice stainless cooker of sorts that might be my source for some experimenting with your recipes. I'll share one with them tomorrow and see what they say about it's smoking abilities. It's taking me a while to get settled in here in balmy Columbus, Mississippi. We have a full week of nice cooking weather predicted as of today. Thanks for the recipes :D They will be shared :D

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:07 pm
by churro
Mr. Heater wrote:That sounds yummy. I think that I will try it next time I fire up the smoker. :DBfire:
Did you use apple wood for the smoke ?

Don't forget the smoked bacon ......


Yep- apple.
And, yes, I have 2 slabs of pork belly in the freezer, so bacon is in my future. I'll make bacon out of one, then try some asian braised pork-belly recipes with the other.

I found a recipe for kakuni (Japanese comfort food), which is basically 2" slabs of pork belly braised or simmered in water, mirin and sugar until tender. Then you add garlic, ginger, a dried red chile and soy sauce and simmer a little more so that most of the liquid cooks away and the rendered fat mixes with the other ingredients to make a thick, rich, sweet and spicy sauce. It should come out soft enough to break up easily with chopsticks. Yum.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:18 pm
by churro
Tonight we had a nice dinner of lamb chops, corn on the cob and green beans. My son must be going through a hungry phase: he ate a whole ear's worth of corn (cut off the cob) and loads of green beans and most of a lamb chop!

To cook the chops I marinaded them in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced garlic and fresh rosemary. Then I tried a new method of cooking I saw on youtube. It's called the "constant flip" method. I heated a heavy cast iron skillet with some olive oil and butter until the first wisp of smoke appeared, then in went the chops. The method basically involves flipping them every 30 seconds or so in a very hot pan until they are done perfectly. The claim is that it helps to cook them more evenly, so the layer of perfectly-done meat is as wide as possible and the surface is seared and browned perfectly, too. Since I have overdone lamb chops in the past, I thought I'd try it. It worked out perfectly! I wouldn't grill that way, but in a pan it seems to give you lots of control.

Re: At-home cooking

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:13 pm
by MissMontana
Sound so tasty and delicious, I agree!