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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Smoked Salmon Benedict

With the cold weather here, I've been using a lot of the home canned goods I put away this year. Makes for a fairly quick and easy meal.
This morning I made sort of an egg benedict with some of the salmon I cold smoked and canned last Feb...

Went with two slices of whole grain toast...

heated some of the smoked salmon in butter, then topped the toast and sprinkled with a few scallions.

Topped with an egg...

Drizzled with hollandaise, more scallions, pepper to taste, and called er good. 

It really tasted good this morning for some reason. Seems like I only make eggs benedict when camping. I'll have to quit being lazy and make this more often. :D

The cold front hit. I'm sure everyone north of me is feeling the winter blast too!  The temperature said -11 when I woke up this morning. Quite a change from 70F on Friday!
There was a dusting of snow, maybe an inch. Not quite enough for me to make snowballs or snow angels though. :)

Hope everyone keeps safe and warm.. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Smoked Chuck on Fry Bread

One of the things I love about smoking chuck roasts, is how many meals I can make out of one. I think I made at least three meals from these two small chuck roasts.

Shredded the meat...

I went with fry bread for this meal. It's really easy to make!

For the fry bread I mix 2 cups of flour,
1 TBS baking powder
and 1 tsp salt
Blend in 1 TBS lard or shortening
Then add 1/2 cup of warm water
Blend well and let dough rest for 30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into at least 6 pieces, flatten with a rolling pin or your hands. Try to make the outer edges thicker than the center.
Fry til golden.
I like to use a spoon to drizzle the hot oil over the bread as it fries. This helps the top puff. Then turn and finish browning.

Top the hot bread with warm smoked chuck, fresh pico, cilantro, cheese...

I like to add a dollop of sour cream. Also topped with some of my home made Hatch chile sauce and garden salsa...

You can pick it up to eat but I end up loosing most of the toppings down the front of me.... so I used a knife and fork for starters. 

Winter must be around the corner, it's colder than heck here!  The month is flying by too fast. I've been spending a lot of time breaking ice for the animals. It's hard for me to switch from running around in shorts, to bundling up til I can barely move. I feel like a tick, ready to pop.  I'm not a good bundler! :)

One thing I do love about this time of the year...the sunsets are amazing. The air is so crisp and fresh.

Hope everyone is keeping warm. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home Canning Venison

Just finished up with deer hunting season here. It's a blessing to have venison for the winter! After aging the deer (while hanging), for at least a week, I process the meat by canning, drying, smoking, freezing, making burger, sausage, etc..
I forgot to mention, this is whitetail deer.

Some of the boneless meat...

I like to cut some of the backstraps into steaks....

After removing the silver skin, I make a cut in the backstrap...not all the way through...

The second cut goes all the way through...

Then I press the steaks open to lay flat.
You can make them as thick or thin as you like.

This batch, I cubed some for canning and left a few roasts whole...

The backstrap steaks. I like to package them two to a pack before freezing. Just works out well for me.

For canning, I like to add a sliver of garlic and onion to each jar. 
Also a mixture of
 4 tsp beef bouillon,
 1 tsp onion powder, 
1/4 tsp seasoned salt. 
 I add 1/2 to 3/4 of a tsp of this blend to each pint jar of venison. 

I like to use the raw pack method with venison.. Pack the jars with the raw meat, NO liquids. The canning process makes the juice. 

Fill hot sterilized jars with the meat, top with onion, garlic and the bouillon blend. Leave 1" of head space. 

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel dipped in white vinegar...make sure the jar rims are clean and not chipped for a good seal.
Keep the lids in a pot of hot water, not boiling, but hot.

Top each jar with a hot lid, screw on band and it's ready for the pressure canner...

I pour in 3 quarts of water and a couple TBS of white vinegar into the canner, add the bottom rack, then the first layer of jars.  (check the instructions on your pressure canner)

I can get 16 pints in my pressure canner at one time, so I place a second rack on top of the lower jars and add another layer of venison filled jars..

For my elevation, I process the venision at 12lbs of pressure for 75 minutes. Check your pressure canner instructions for your area.
When time is up, turn the heat off and let the canner pressure down on it's own. You don't want to rush this process.

After the canner has cooled, remove the jars and let them cool on the counter. They will seal while cooling. This doesn't take long, just space the jars a little bit. 

When the jars have cooled, check to make sure they are sealed. I like to leave them on the kitchen counter overnight, then wash the jars, label and put them in the cellar for storage.

I had to give one of the jars a taste test. It smelled so good!

I drain the liquid from the jar of venison, into the skillet...

Add cornstarch to thicken. (or flour)  I like cornstarch, it gives the finished gravy a "clear" look.

Add the venison, let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add more beef stock or water if needed...also adjust salt and pepper if needed.

I was pretty hungry and didn't want to take the time to make mashed potatoes, so I went with a baked tatoe. (yeah, I'm a slacker!:))

Topped the hot baked tatoe with the venison and gravy....

A quick meal for sure!!

The venison is so tender and the gravy is full of flavor....

It's a good feeling to have the meat on hand for the winter. I'll put it to good use. :)

I processed a few jars with a sliver of bacon added. Haven't tasted those jars yet but I'll do that soon.

Hope everyone had a safe hunting season this year. Friends that I've talked to were able to fill their tags and are putting the meat to good use.

The weather is down right cold here. I know the folks to the north are getting hit hard with this cold spell. No snow here so far, just cold.

Keep warm everyone and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pulled Pork Posole

I have a crock pot and I'm not afraid to use it. lol  When things get busy or I just don't feel like cooking, the crock pot comes in handy!
Not sure what to call this, it's sort of a cross between smoked pork green chile stew and posole.

While prepping some of the venison meat harvested this season, I put the crock pot to work. 

Had some smoked pork butt, saved from deer season...

Started with cubed potatoes, onions, garlic and chicken stock. (didn't have pork stock on hand)

Peeled and cubed a bag of Hatch green chiles from my freezer...

added the smoked pulled pork to the pot...

Next I added cooked black beans, pinto beans, hominy, oregano, a bit of cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Thought about adding jalapenos but the flavor was hot enough for me with the hatch chiles..

I let it simmer for several hours while working on the venison. Topped with sour cream, minced onions and cilantro...

The smoked pork flavor came through, also the green chiles. Will make this again in the future!

Had the first light dusting of snow Friday night (early Saturday morning). Just a tiny bit that was gone by the time the sun came up in the morning. So far, winter has been mild here. Heck, I've been able to wear shorts outside during the day. I like it, but we could use the moisture.

Hope everyone has a great week. Keep safe and warm!