The Mightly Collard Wrap

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Collard Wraps

The mighty collard. Once saved for cookin’ up ‘a mess’ on New Year’s Day and now making an appearance in your work week lunchbox!

The mighty collard. They’ve been eaten in the South for centuries and around the world since at least Ancient Roman times. African, South American, and Middle Eastern countries all have their own methods of preparing them as main or side dishes. Generally in the South, we slow braise ‘a mess’ of them with salted or smoked meat, onions, pepper, vinegar, and a dash of sugar (and sometimes tomato). It’s an all day event that can both warm and stink up a house. Summertime in the South where temperatures are hotter than the hinges of Hell is not the time for a bubbling cauldron of greens no matter how delicious the outcome.

If you still want to get in some of the great properties of collards (vitamin C, fiber, and antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties) but want to maintain your ‘air of elegance’ during the heat of summer, try using them as sandwich wraps instead. It’s a great option for those sensitive to wheat or grain and they are super easy to make, keep for days in the fridge, freeze easily, and pack a ton of flavor. For those looking to shed a few pounds in order to squeeze into your speedo, they only pack a few calories per leaf. You can also use the same preparation here and then slice thinly and add to cold salads. If you’re daring, try blanching mustard greens or horseradish tops to use as your wraps or in salads. It’s best to prepare a mess ahead of time and vacuum and freeze in batches to save yourself some work.

Collard Wraps

  • Mess of whole leaf collards (usually come in 2 -3 bunches), stems removed
  • Salty water for blanching
  • Ice bath

Working in small batches, blanch collards and submerge in ice bath. Drain on layers of paper towels. Layer in groups of 2-3 leaves for each wrap and place in an airtight container for use during the work week. Alternatively, layer in groups, roll up, and vacuum pack. Freeze for later use.

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Blanched collard with stem removed. Blanching makes the collard less leathery and a bit more sweet.

collard wraps

Layer 2-3 blanched leaves, making sure to overlap the slits where the stems once lived.

I generally use 2-3 leaves per wrap, overlapping the slits where the stems once lived (otherwise your stuffing sneaks out). Spread your filling out and proceed to wrap like burrito.

collard wraps

Spread your filling out a bit along one edge.

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Collard burrito!

I keep enough for 3 or so wraps in the fridge to use during the work week. I always have some on hand since we work in big batches and freeze them. No more running to the store for bread or wraps (they defrost quickly in their vacuum bag in a sink of warm water)! Thinner greens like mustard or horseradish take a little care in handling so they don’t tear. Try mustard greens with egg salad and bacon or horseradish greens with grilled beef. You won’t be disappointed!

collard wraps

Low carb, grain free wraps AND collardy goodness year round. Win! Win!

Who Needs Easter Ham Anyway!

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Who says you have to have ham for Easter???

Easter brings back memories of a big ol’ Easter Ham. You know the one. All glazed and dotted with whole cloves. Maybe you threw some pineapple slices and maraschino cherries on for old times sake. Yeah, that ham.

Ribeye Roast recipe

Oooohhhh…decorative and painful. So painful.

Traditionally hogs were slaughtered in the Fall and without refrigeration pork was cured for Spring. Voila, Easter Ham. Don’t ask me what 1950’s foodie added pineapple, Maraschino cherries, and cloves (did I mention Maraschino cherries smell like that starfish I dissected in 7th grade??). The process of turning fresh pork into ham is indeed magical, but I’m challenging you to give up the ghost and go for a standing rib-eye roast instead. Take it up a notch, enjoy the budding warmth, and bust out your grill. That’s right, pull out your outdoor speakers, blare some Winger (yes, Winger), pour yourself some wine, and drag the dog beds grill side. I’m a pork lover and I promise you I’m not looking back. That ham is gladly reserved for those cute little ham sandwiches your Grandma made on dinner rolls. This Easter I’m all about the beef!

Cooking a standing rib-eye roast might seem daunting, but trust me, with a few basic skills you’ll have this thing mastered. Better yet, you’ll impress the h-e-double-hockey sticks out of your friends and family!

Grilled Standing Rib-eye Roast

  • 5 pound (usually 3 ribs) rib-eye roast, bones included.
  • 2 TBSP cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/8 tsp dried sage
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 dried bay leaf
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • kitchen twine
  • 30 charcoal briquettes & your charcoal grill
  • Lotsa time to kill, Girl’s Best Friends, Winger’s Greatest hits, bevvy of choice

Prepare your roast by rinsing and patting it dry with paper towels. Cut the bones away from the roast (save them!). Some say to trim the fat to 1/8th of an inch. Go ahead if you’d like, but if you trim fat in my house you will surely end up with broken fingers, a bloody nub, and a black eye. Seriously. Don’t. Do. It. You can cut fat off later if you want (I might very well look at you in disgust if you do), but cutting it off beforehand sacrifices flavor and juices in my opinion.

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Why would you cut OFF the fat????

Coat roast in a thin layer of oil. Place all spices in a spice grinder. Or try your trusty, dusty $10 Mr. Coffee grinder saved just for spices and grind spices until powdery. Mix with your salt and spread on a rimmed cookie sheet.

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Put all of your spices into your grinder of choice and grind until powdery.

Grilled Standing Ribeye Roast

Mix well with your salt and spread evenly on a rimmed cookie or baking sheet.

Press the roast and bones into the salt until evenly coated.

Grilled Prime Rib

Salty goodness = crusty grilled goodness. Don’t be afraid of the salt!

Truss the roast and bones together. Hit up this video at 15:01 or so to see the best and quickest method for trussing your roast. It’s a bit ‘slight of hand’ but a good skill to learn for any large roast. Set your roast aside and cover with a clean tea or kitchen towel. Let rest 2-3 hours (don’t skimp on time people! This desiccates the outer layer to make a righteous crust). You want the roast to be room temp when you put it on the grill. And no, you won’t die from the roast sitting for 2-3 hours in a 68 degree house. Remember you’re going to cook it and you have stomach acid at about a pH of 0.8.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to throw your Easter Hunk O’ Beef on the grill, light about 30 briquettes and let burn until they’ve formed a thin coating of white ash. Once covered in ash, make a dual layer pile of charcoal on one side of your grill. Let the grill heat 5 minutes and scrape clean. Place your roast fat side down and sear until all fat covered sides are brown, about 10-12 minutes (depending on your fire heat).

Grilled Ribeye roast

Sear that thing!

Once browned, insert a constant read thermometer (not touching the bones) and place the roast with the tips of the bones away from the fire. This puts the thickest part of the roast towards the heat so it cooks more evenly.

Cooking Rib Eye Roast

Place the roast with the thickest portion towards your coals. This will help the roast cook more evenly.

Be careful of flare ups in the beginning when the fat is rendering. Do you see that little spot o’ burn in the picture above…that’s a result of flare ups. Don’t cry for me Argentina, it’s a small spot and will work itself out in the end. Much more burn though and you’ve spent a lot of time and moo-la making a charcoal lump. Place your grill lid on, grab your bevvy and settle in. You’re going to cook your roast until about 125 degrees for medium rare. We went up to 135 for a medium-medium rare. This can take 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the size of your roast and the heat of your fire. The roast will ‘rest’ on the counter for about 15 minutes and the temp will raise 10-15 degrees so don’t fret about under cooking it a bit. No matter what temp you like, cook the roast 10-15 degrees cooler and let it rest.

Grilled prime rib

That twine has seen better days….but dang! That meat looks good. If the crusties I picked off are any indication, it tastes just as good as it looks!

Ribeye roast

Come to mama!

Slice that awesome thang to desired thickness and serve with horseradish sauce, taters, and your choice of veggies (we had balsamic grilled asparagus and it was delightful!). I promise you won’t miss that pineapple-cherry-clove Easter Hamnanigans.

Grilled prime rib

Fixin’ to get real in tha house!

Lazy Braisin’ Beef

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Super easy braised beef is perfect for rainy days…or hey, any day will do!

So, it’s a rainy day. And a bit chilly. And The Hubs is working on something in the office. I won’t say I’m bored, but I’m in need of something to hold my attention for a little while. In addition, I guess the Holidays had me thinking about my Grandma (Memaw). I can remember her and my Aunt Liney flying out to Oregon as a surprise after Ken and I moved there and fixing a seriously beefy casserole one night. It was super simple: A mixture of ground beef, Lipton’s onion soup mix, tomatoes, and pasta. I’m pretty sure it was a food-child of the 50’s when dinners where often a conglomeration of various quick, fairly processed foods. I don’t care. It was seriously addictive. There’s no way it should have been, but it was. Something about the super beefiness, the tang of tomato, and the caramelized flavor from dehydrated onions in the soup mix. That casserole was the inspiration for this super easy, ‘Lazy Man’s’ braised beef. It takes about 2 seconds to throw together and then a few hours of no-touch time in the oven. You do need a little patience, but not a whole lot more.

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All you need is a little patience!

When it’s done, throw it in a bowl or pair it with creamy corn grits for a super treat. It’s seriously beefy, hits the spot, and sticks with you.

 

Lazy Man’s Braised Beef

  • 3-4 pound,well-marbled chuck
  • One 32 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Gel Beef bouillon (Organic Beef Better-Than-Bouillon)
  • 2 TBSP dehydrated onions (in spice section)

Place your chuck in a pan large enough to hold it with a tad of extra room. Add 1/2 of can of tomatoes. Add enough water proportionately mixed with beef bouillon (read container) to come half way up beef sides. Sprinkle dehydrated onions on top.

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It’s as easy as throwing everything in a pot and waiting!

Place lid and place in 275 degree preheated oven until tender but not stringy. I find this takes somewhere around three hours. If it’s not like butter with fat and connective tissue dissolved, return to oven and check every thirty minutes or so.

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Look at that good business….like budda!

Once super soft, pull out the meat and reserve on the side. Place the pan with juices and tomatoes over medium high heat. Add remainder of tomatoes. Bring to gentle boil and reduce by half until flavors are intensified. Adjust seasoning if necessary (salt, pepper, bouillon addition). Reduce heat to low. Once the beef cools to the touch, pull apart into chunks and submerge in the au jus.

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Pull that beef into chunks and get ready to feast!

Feel free to add sautéed mushrooms and/or serve over creamy corn grits (don’t knock it ’till you try it!). I’m pretty certain Memaw would’ve been proud!

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Get it!

 

 

 

Practicin’ for St. Patty’s (or better Corned Beef)!

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Practicin’ for St. Patty’s!

 

St. Patty’s is a big deal in our house. It’s the beginning of Spring, a good excuse to come out from under the winter weather (yes, the whole two months of it!), and to celebrate with good friends. And then there’s Corned Beef. I’ve always loved Corned Beef. That being said, Good Lord bless me, I’ve usually had the type you’re familiar with: Boiled to bejesus and somewhere close to rubbery. In fact, I’ll never forget my friend Jennifer looking at me a bit exasperatedly and saying, “um, but it’s pickled meat!”. Indeed, it is. It’s actually pickled beef brisket. Although I’m in no way close to starting the project from scratch and pickling my own fresh brisket, I’m down with creating a much better Corned Beef than I’ve had in the past. After all, it’s well past ‘Half Way to St. Patty’s Day’ and I’m just gettin’ on it!

Note: This Corned Beef isn’t watery, or blubbery, or chewy. It has tons of flavor and is soft like butter. However, it can’t be done in a hurry. It’s like any other tough meat…low and slow is the way to go. I actually used a ‘Texas Crutch” about half way through cooking when it seemed the meat chunk was just stalling at the tough stage. Think about how long it takes to cook a brisket…it’s pickled cousin isn’t much better. Good news…do a big enough batch at a time and you can have corned beef and cabbage, Reuben sandwiches, and homemade corned beef hash.

 

Better Corned Beef:

  • Corned Beef Brisket (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • A Handful of carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • Seasoning packet that comes with; Or
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 TBSP mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
    • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1 Sierra Nevada Porter
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Get yourself a big ol’ pot. Coarsely chop your cabbage and cut up your carrots and onions (not too small since they’ll be in the pot a while).

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Chop your cabbage coarsely…it’ll stand up better to longer braising times.

Place 1/2 of your coarsely chopped cabbage in the bottom of the pot. pour your spices (packet or otherwise) over the top. Add 1/2 of your carrots and onions. Place the Corned Beef brisket on top.

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Add 1/2 of your cabbage, onion, and carrots to the pot. Place your Corned Beef on top.

Add the rest of the cabbage, onions, and carrots.

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Your sweet little 4 pound baby Corned Beef brisket is nestled in a bed of cabbage, onion, and carrots.

Pour in your beer and stock. Place a tight-fitting lid and set pot over a medium-low heat. Start up The Big Lebowski (well, you have to have something to do while you wait!). Braise for around three hours. At this point it should accept a fork easily but not be near falling apart and still give a fair resistance.

Take the brisket, place on a double layer of foil, add about 1/2 cup of the braising liquid, and wrap tightly. Place in a 275 degree oven until a fork slides in like butter (about 1.5 hours). I have no other way to describe this other than the fork truly slides in like a a hot knife through butter. In the smoking arena, I’ve found this usually equates to between 195 and 205 degrees. Pull your little package out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes on the counter. Then unwrap and slice across the grain.

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Mmmmmm…pickled brisket never tasted so good! God bless the Irish!

 

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Serve it up with some of your cabbage and carrots and a little bit of broth. Get crazy and add some masked potatoes or for a Southern flair, some creamy stone ground corn grits.

For a super, duper treat…fry up an egg over easy and eat your leftovers in the morning!

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Corned Beef is a great friend for eggs over easy. Better yet? Add some tasty potatoes for a homemade Corned Beef hash (no one should EVER eat that weird stuff out of a can). Breakfast never looked so good!

 

 

 

 

Dry-rubbed, BBQ Chicken Thighs

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Dry-rubbed BBQ chicken-totally hit the spot!

So, we decided to carry on the weekend with the grilling. I mean, the grill was already out and it saves me from destroying the kitchen. And it’s a great excuse to get in touch with my inner Cavewoman. Being we did up some awesome ribeyes last night, I was looking for something non-beef. BBQ chicken thighs hit the mark. There’s something about the fat and char mixed with tangy sauce that is seriously good. We dry rubbed the chicken first (big thanks to my bro for giving me a batch of his secret dry rub), then slathered on some Stubbs Original Sauce. I know I should make my own sauce, but 80’s hair metal and a comfy porch chair were callin’ my name!

Dry-rubbed BBQ Chicken Thighs

  • Enough Chicken thighs for some serious grubbin’
  • Dry-rub of your choice (we used my brother’s, but Stubbs makes some good ones)
  • BBQ sauce of your choice (again, Stubbs makes great sauces)

Rub your chicken down generously with dry rub. Let sit at least an hour. If your can overnight it in the fridge, all the better.

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Kinda startin’ to think the grill is a little too hot. We went with a chunk charcoal-it burns way hotter than your regular briquette!

Prepare your coals. Heat Your grill with the lid on for at least 5 minutes with the bottom vents open. Remove the lid and place your thighs, skin side up. Cook until well browned on the bottom. Slater with sauce and flip. Slather the bottom (now facing up) with sauce and cook until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Flames from h-e-double-hockey-sticks! At least the chicken got a little burn on…I love me some charred BBQ chicken skin!

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Had to remove the chicken and finish off in a pan to avoid getting too much char (is there such a thing??).

Now, this sounds easy. However, we got the grill a bit too hot. The Hubbs had to dance around the grill, circling it like he was doing a rain dance, to avoid the bonfire and to place the BBQ sauce. I’m pretty sure he singed off all of his knuckle hair. Hey, at least we got a good chuckle out of it! We ended up removing the chicken after a good singe (I do like mine pretty darn burnt) and placing it in a pan to continue cooking so as to avoid some seriously charcoaly chicken. While letting the grill cool a bit, we cooked up some grilled corn and some bacon-wrapped asparagus (um, yeah..that asparagus didn’t stand a chance in making it to the dinner plate!). Then we put the chicken back on to finish. It was perfectly burnt (yes there is such a thing!) and the meat was super juicy. Perfect!

 

Grilled Corn

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Awesome grilled corn!

Being married to a Nebraska Boy, corn takes a special place in our house. We don’t eat it often, so when we do, it’s gotta hit the spot and hold you over until the next round. Now, I don’t discriminate when it comes to corn-I love it all. Creamed, boiled, steamed, or grilled in the husk. But we’d had grilled corn when we were out and about that was nothing short of awesome. It was sweet, corny, and speckled with little charred spots. But trying to reproduce this at home by way of grilling in the husk just didn’t produce the same effect. Finally we tried just slapping it on the grill sans husk. Perfecto! You can add lots of things to it (paprika, sour cream sauce, cheese, japapeno, etc.), but I think plain ol’ butter does the trick. This stuff is a great pair for anything grilled. Bonus? The dogs love, love, love to pick the cobs and get all the little bits off (Be careful to not let them eat the cob-it can’t be digested and can cause problems)! Not to mention it’s hilarious to watch them munch off the leftover kernels typewriter style. Happy dog and happy Cornhusker = Happy life!

Grilled Corn

  • As many ears of corn as you need
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Hot grill

Score the husk near the bottom of the cob with a pairing knife. Remove the husk and silk. Place on a hot grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels darken a bit and char spots appear. Remove from the grill, brush with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Dig in. Don’t forget to share with your furry buddies (just make sure they don’t get ahold of the cob!).

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Grilled corn pairs well with just about everything!

Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese and Mushroom-Sherry Cream Sauce

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Grilled ribeye with mushroom-sherry cream sauce. Seriously. Good. Eats.

It was a long work week and I was in the mood to don some flip flops, enjoy the good weather, sip a little vino, and chat with The Hubbs. Not to mention I had an itchin’ to bust out the charcoal Weber my brother and his family gave me for my birthday. I mean, who doesn’t like to play with their new toys?? As the proverbial “They” say, it really is all about the simple things. So The Hubbs stopped to pick up some ribeyes and we were on our way to Good Times.

Although I love a good ol’, simple charred ribeye (seriously, that charred fat!), I was looking for a little something more. Luckily The Hubbs picked up some mushrooms and blue cheese I keep a stock of cream and sherry on hand. Although this recipe might seem like work, don’t let it fool you. It’s perfect for sippin’ and is worth every minute!

 

Grilled Ribeye with Blue Cheese and Mushroom-Sherry Cream Sauce

  • 2 Ribeyes, well marbled, 2 inches thick
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Blue Cheese
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 TBSP oil (we used beef tallow)
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onions
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
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Season your steaks. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Salt and pepper the steaks. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature. Prepare your grill.

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Soak your dried porcini mushrooms in just enough hot water to cover.

Soak your dried mushrooms in just enough hot water to cover.

Cook your mushrooms. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 TBSP fat to pan over medium heat. Sweat the onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Remove dried mushrooms from liquid and squeeze over pan. Dice and add to pan. Add sherry and deglaze pan. Add cream slowly while stirring. Add the reserved cooked mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half and sauce coats the back of a spoon.

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Get your charcoal ready!

Light 6 quarts of charcoal in a charcoal chimney. When the top briquettes are half covered with ash, spread 2/3 of charcoal over grate with bottom vents completely open. Spread remaining charcoal over 1/2 of grate. Heat grill about 5 minutes with lid on. Remove lid, pat ribeyes dry with paper towels (they won’t char up otherwise), and place ribeyes over the hot side of the grill (the side with more charcoal). Cook uncovered until well browned on each side, 2-3 minutes per side. Move steaks to cooler side of grill and cook until meat registers 115 degrees for rare or 120 degrees for medium-rare (I think ribeyes are better at medium-rare). Remove steaks, loosely tent with foil, and rest for 10 minutes.

Heat your oven’s broiler to high. Sprinkle steaks with desired amount of blue cheese and place under the broiler for a minute or two to melt (to avoid cooking your steak at this point, make sure the rack is as close to the element as possible). Watch closely so you don’t burn them-it can happen quickly!

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Mmmmmm. Melty blue cheese.

Plate your steaks and serve with your awesome mushroom-sherry cream sauce. Serve with your favorite veggie. Since the grill was fired up, we paired the steaks with grilled zucchini and yellow squash drizzled with chive oil. Seriously delightful. The wine, conversation, and R & R wasn’t half bad either!

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Serve with mushroom-sherry cream sauce. Prepare for utter silence at the table!

Helluva Good Smoked Chicken

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Ok, so most people who know me have figured out I’m not a huge fan of chicken (except Dad’s BBQ chicken thighs!). Maybe it’s naturally a little bland or maybe I’ve just had a lot of poorly cooked chicken-but it doesn’t generally reach the top of the list in my kitchen as fav things to eat. Enter the smoker. That little beauty forever changed the way I look at chicken! That thing turns what I know as bland-blech-where’s-the-sauce chicken into get-outta-my-way-or-you’ll-draw-back-a-nub chicken. It’s super easy (some prep is required) and you can throw some pork or beef on the smoker at the same time and have a feastival-o-meat! Any leftover (yea, right!) can be used in smoked chicken salad, chicken chili, smoked chicken Alfredo, or just on top of a salad. Using the leftover bones in making stock gives a subtle smoky flavor that works well for soups, stews, or as a braising liquid. Shove aside your loathing of chicken and let’s get to it!

  • 1 or 2 quality chickens
  • Sweet Tea Molasses Brine
  • Smoker with Pecan, Cherry, or Apple wood chips
  • Adult beverages, good friends, and some time

Rinse your chicken and plunk it down in your brine. For all the ‘no-sugar’ folks, don’t despair…the brine will be rinsed off and minimal sugar will be infused into the meat (use Blackstrap molasses if you’d like the least amount of sugar).

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Let sit 3 or so hours, or overnight in the fridge. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well. Fire up your smoker, let it heat, and place your chips. I let the initial billow of smoke burn off so I don’t risk any bitterness. Throw your chickens in, grab your bevvy and friends, relax. Two chickens usually take about 3 hours, or until the temp is 160 at the thigh (then rest on the counter, tented in foil, for 10 minutes or so for an internal temp of 165). The skin is crisp, nice and brown, and the meat is super juicy and flavorful. I promise, there won’t be a word spoken at the dinner table!

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Superb (and Easy!) Boneless Short Ribs

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The elusive moist, tender, I-can’t-stop-eating-it, get-back-or-I’ll-stab-your-hand short ribs.

I think I’ve tried short ribs every single time they’re on the menu. Even the ‘bad’ ones were great. Each time I’d come home excitedly to try making them myself. I wouldn’t say they were an epic failure…but they just weren’t as good as I’d had in restaurants (seriously, every time it’s like a war-of-forks when the Hubbs and I try to share!). Then I met the boneless chuck short rib. These are not just short ribs with the bone removed-they’re a whole different cut entirely. More like a chuck roast cut into fat strips. Accordingly, they turn out fork tender with the same treatment-low and slow. There’s not much prep involved-just a bit of a wait time while they cook. And it’s so worth the wait—give ’em a try!

  • Boneless chuck short ribs (I always cook a load-they go fast!)
  • Beef broth to cover about 1/2 way up the ribs
  • a few carrots, onions, and celery; roughly chopped
  • Tomato paste (I used a tablespoon)
  • Bay leaves, rosemary, pepper to taste (salt the juices while reducing)
  • Large saucepan or dutch oven with tight-fitting lid

Sear the bejesus out of your short ribs. I used beef tallow for it’s high smoke point and got a nice crust going.

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Searing all sides for a good crust adds flavor and seals in juices.

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Man, that’s gonna be good!

Remove ribs to a side plate. Saute the carrots, onion, and celery until just tender—or if you have a bit more time, caramelize them a little for extra flavor. Add the tomato paste a cook for a minute or two. Add the ribs in and cover with broth about 1/2 way up.

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Wilt or caramelize your veggies.

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Cover with broth 1/2 way up the sides of the meat.

Add your lid and pop in the oven at 300 degrees with a well-fitting lid (put foil on the edges to help seal up if yours doesn’t seal well). Alternatively you can barely simmer on the stovetop. Cook the ribs until they’re fork tender. You’ll know you’ve got it right when they give with the slightest pressure—the Hubbs says ‘like butter’. Any fat or connective tissue will have melted. Reduce your juices until they coat the back of a spoon slightly. No need to strain, just let ’em rip.

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Let ’em go low and slow! Try not to peek too much.

You can eat your ribs at this point-with a bit of your reduced juices-or for super awesome ribs, place them in a single, flat layer in a pan, cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight.

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For the best ribs, place in a single layer and refrigerate, covered, overnight.

Heat the next day by placing under a broiler until just warm. Pour on the reduced juices and go to town. I promise next time you’ll do double or triple batches!

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Go to town! They-re great on their own, with their cooked veggies, with roasted veggies, over risotto, or over creamy grits with their juices.

Enjoy!!

Chive (and other) Oils

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Celery soup with chive oil.

Ever wonder what those little green drops are floating in your soup or scattered perfectly around your plate at restaurants? Well, I’ve solved your wonder (I know it just keeps you up at night!). Herb oil. Not the kind where dried herbs are submerged in oil for some time, allowing the oil to take on the subtle flavor of the herb. These are smack-you-in -the-face, pungent, full-flavored oils. I really can’t get enough of them-on salads, over entrees, or drizzled in soup. They last a good long while in the fridge and are super useful. You won’t be sorry you took the time to try them out!

  • 1:1 ratio neutral oil to soft, green dry herb (chive, scallion, parsley, basil)
  • food processor
  • Butter linen or tea towel for draining (or get yourself a bouillon strainer for a less messier option)

Make sure your herbs are dry. Less water=longer shelf life. Roughly chop your herbs.

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Roughly chop your dry, soft herbs.

Place the herbs and oil in the food processor. Whiz until uniform (as close as you can get-try out a Vitamix for great results).

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Place herbs and oil in a food processor or Vitamix.

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Whiz until uniform or as close as you can get.

Place your herb oil in a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until just simmering.

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Place herb oil in a saucepan until you reach a gentle simmer….GENTLE! You don’t want to destroy the aromatic oils.

Strain well.

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A bouillon strainer works well for easy straining with little mess. It can be used for straining stock and yogurt too!

Place in ball jars and mark lids with a wax pencil with type of oil and date.

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Place in ball jars and mark lids with a wax pencil. Make sure to let the oil cool completely before placing the lid.

Let cool completely so there is no water condensation when you close them up. Refrigerate. Some say to use them within the week, but some of mine have lasted months! Trust me, you’ll know by smell and taste when they’re no longer good.

Try ’em on everything! My favorite is as a substitute for faux salad dressings-no more stuff out of a bottle!

Great bonus..you can freeze the drained bits of herb left in tablespoon servings, place in a sturdy ziploc, and use later in soups or mixed with butter over pasta or veggies for a quick meal! No waste!

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Freeze drained herb bits for later use…no waste!

Note: Scallion oil will have some liquid at the bottom. Just let it settle and pour off the good green stuff so it will last longer! The scallion juice that’s left can be used in soups.