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Thursday, December 20, 2007

My last camp out of the year

Do you know what it feels like to have a whole lake to yourself?
It's wonderful......
You can see the trees on the far side, the calm water, the night creeping over the horizon.

It does wonders for your soul. :)

Making Turkey Pastrami

I love turkey pastrami and thankfully, it's easy to make. :)
Served with a spicy mustard, smoked cheese and some twangy green tomato dill pickles. Makes a nice meal.

The dry cure is made by combining
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 1/2 TBS cracked black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/4 cup of kosher salt
1/4 cup of paprika
1/4 cup of coriander seeds, crushed
1 thumbsized piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped

Use a whole turkey breast, you can bone it but it's not required.

Combine the dry cure ingredients and rub all over breast.

Place the breast in a container to catch the juice, cover and let it cure in your fridge 24 hours.

After curing overnight, wipe most of the cure off using a paper towel.

Place the breast on your smoker. Smoke at 250 degees until you reach an internal temperature of 170. You can check the temperature of the breast using an instant read thermometer.

I used hickory to smoke this breast.

I added a wheel of compasino cheese for a short while, you can smoke what ever cheese you like.

I pulled the turkey off of the smoker at 170 degrees, and let it rest for 30 minutes. At this point you can use it right away or let it chill in the fridge.

The smoked pastrami is juicy and tender.

The finished pastrami, with spicy mustard, smoked compasino cheese and some twangy green tomato dill pickles. The leftovers are good too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ice Storm

It's a shame something so beautiful can be so deadly. Sorry to hear of folks injured or killed by the latest storm.
The ice is melting now, here are a few pictures taken this morning.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Smoked Chicken Chilies Rellanos

Chilies rellanos are one of my favorites...making them with smoked chicken makes them special. :)

I rub the chicken with butter, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

On the smoker....smoked at 275 degrees until reaching an internal temperature of 163 degrees, using a small amount of mesquite. The chicken is then covered and rests for at least 30 minutes.

The chicken is shredded....

I combined the chicken with 1/2 of a medium onion chopped, some minced jalapeno and some fresh shredded queso campesino cheese.

I use anaheim favorite.

The peppers are blistered over fire...a grill works great for this.

The blistered peppers are bagged to steam and cool for peeling.

The peeled peppers, ready to seed and stuff.

Afer peeling the chilis, make a small slit down the side, remove seeds.
Stuff with the chicken mixture.

The batter is made by whipping 2 egg whites until stiff.....beat 2 yolks.....add the two together along with 2 TBS of flour.

Lightly coat the stuffed chilies with flour.

Dip stuffed chilies into batter and fry in small amount of oil until brown.

Drain fried chilies on paper towels.

Serve with rellanos sauce...(recipe follows).

The smoked chicken adds another dimension to the dish.....It's worth the effort. :)

Sauce for Chilies Rellanos

My favorite sauce for rellanos.....saute 1/2 medium onion (chopped) and 1 clove of minced garlic in 1 TBS of oil until tender.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

Simmer for 10 minutes

Serve over chilies rellanos.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Making Canadian Bacon

Added note: Here is another link for some of my cold smoked canadian and slab bacon....

If you've never tried homemade canadian bacon, you are missing out. :)
It' easy to make, the hardest part is the waiting while the meat cures.
This is one of my favorite recipes.

Start with a large fresh pork loin or back loin..(not tenderloin). This one was around 11lbs.
Cut the loin in half to try both recipes.

Remove all fat from the loin.

I used a dry cure on this half.
1TBS of Morton's Tenderquick mixed with 1 tsp of sugar PER POUND of meat.
Rub the mixture all over the meat and shake off any excess.
Wrap in plastic or place in covered container to cure in your fridge for 6 days.

This half I cured in a brine.
I made a mixture of Morton's Tenderquick and water.....then added my own touch.
10 cloves of garlic
2 dried cayenne peppers
1 TBS jalapeno powder
1 TBS dried onion flakes
1/4 cup of brown sugar

Submerge the meat in the brine, cover and cure in your fridge for 6 days.
After the meat has cured, place in cool fresh water to soak out some of the saltiness. Soak for an hour ...changing the water after 30 minutes.

Make sure the meat is dry, either by placing in your fridge for a day or so or just wiping it down.
I added fresh cracked black pepper to the brine cured half.

For HOT smoking...Place the meat in your smoker. If you do not have a smoker, you can just bake it.
I smoked this one at around 220 degrees until I reached an internal temperature of 160.
This batch was smoked with hickory chips.
The bacon is cooked and ready to eat.

For COLD smoking, smoke at a temperature under 85F. The smoke time depends on how smoky you want your bacon. Check it after 6 hours. Only CURED meats can be cold smoked. After the cold smoke process, the bacon still needs to be cooked. (fried, or what ever is your favorite way).

I let the bacon sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing

Time to slice....I like them thin, you can slice how ever you like them. :)

Bacon all sliced and ready for use.

I divided some of the bacon using waxed paper before bagging and freezing. It makes it easier to get a small batch out of the freezer when needed.

The bacon is ready to eat as is, but I like to brown it in a bit of butter in my cast iron skillet. :)