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Friday, February 22, 2008

Cold smoked a few things today

The weather was beautiful was just right for firing up my little smokehouse.

I used a mixture of apple and pecan wood for the smoke.

I made two pans of home made seasoned salt, two pans of a kosher salt/cracked pepper mixture with garlic and onion, and 1 pan of hungarian paprika.

Also a mixture of olives, some jack and mozarella cheese......and lots of peanuts. :)

I cold smoked at 65 degrees for about 6 hours. Everything came out tasty. :)

Bacon and Ham on the Hoof

These shots were taken earlier this winter.
Nothing better that homegrown pork. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My little tomato plant

Last November, when the cool nights were claiming the remaining plants in my small garden...I fell in love with this little tomato plant.
I just couldn't let it sit out in the cold until it I brought it into the warm house to spend the winter months with me. :)

The first picture was taken about two weeks after I potted the plant and brought it inside.

The last two pictures were taken this morning.

The little plant is thriving. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Venison, Cactus and Yuca Dinner

Another one of my favorite meals.....marinated, grilled venison backstrap, nopales (cactus)/jicama salad with pan fried yuca root mixed with onion and garlic.

If you have fresh nopale pads, skin dice and cook until tender in lightly salted water.
Canned nopales can be used, just rinse and drain well.
I use about 2 cups of prepared nopales.

Peel and dice about 1 cup of jicama.

Combine nopales and jicama with...
2 cups of corn (grilled if you have it)
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 cups of black beans, rinsed and drained well
fresh chopped tomato
For the dressing combine..
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
2/3 cup of a light veggie oil
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
1 clove of garlic...minced
about 1 TBs dijon mustard
Whisk and pour over salad....chill for several hours before serving.

My store carries yuca root. It is similar to a potato, but I like it better.

Peel the yuca root.

Slice the root in half down the middle. The center of the root needs to be removed.
The picture shows the top two pieces still have the center intact.
The pithy center has been removed from the bottom two pieces.

Cube the yuca roots and cook them in salted water until tender...but not too soft.

Drain the yuca.... Place a small amount of oil or butter in the skillet, add the yuca, chopped onions and minced garlic.
Also, my favorite way to fry them is in a cast iron skillet over a hot fire on the grill....with some of my homemade smoked seasoned salt sprinkled on top.

I like to marinate my venison backstrap medallions in a mixture of evoo, fresh chopped garlic, sherry and soy.
I do not measure it....I just use equal parts of each, and 1 or 2 cloves of garlic.
Let them marinate for at least an hour.

I think this has to be one of my favorite meals. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cold Smoking a few things

I loaded my little smokehouse with
a pan of kosher salt
a pan of sea salt
some pecans
a string of jalapenos (slit but not seeded)
a pan of clover honey
a mixture of black olives, garlic stuffed green olives, and calamata olives
a homemade seasoned salt (Sea salt, kosher salt, raw sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, coarse black pepper and ground corriander)
a homemade pepper blend (cracked black, white and cayenne)
a homemade pepper/salt blend (garlic and onion added)
Also...two kinds of mozzarella cheese, one monterey jack and one pepperjack cheese

I cold smoked at 65 degrees for about 6 hours.
Burnt down some hedge wood for a bed of hot coals, added pecan and apple chunks for the smoke.

Everything turned out nice.. :)

Link to smokehouse in favorites list.