Meat Problem, Meat Probe

Greetings all…

Did you know the meat that you are buying at the grocery store is not the same as the meat your mama bought just 20 years ago?  Pork, poultry, beef and fish… they are all changing.  I’m going to get on my soap box here for just a second, but the neighborhood grocery store has evolved.  Factory farms now produce most of the meat sold in stores, and more importantly, all of the meat if you are budget conscious.  While cheap is good, it is almost impossible to justify paying twice as much for meat that is locally and organically produced.  It’s just a fact.

Let’s talk pork.  20 years ago, a pig was at least 6 months old before achieving his purpose in life (slaughtered for meat).  Now, with advances in feed and farm techniques, a pig achieves it’s special purpose in 3 to 4 months.  But, the meat is not the same.  Pigs are leaner than they were 20 years ago.

That means your meat cooks different.

Also, when was the last time you saw a pork chop with the bone attached.  Often now, you pay more for the less processed bone in chop.  Market research has decided that boneless meat is more appealing and sells better than bone in.  But that also means your meat has a different flavor, plus…

That means your meat cooks different.

That also means all those recipes from Mom are just slightly off.  With less fat, with fewer bones in your meat, it is much more difficult to cook pork chops (as an example, but any pork cut is the same) the same way Mom cooked and get the same results.  It’s not mom’s fault  that her cooking skills have gone down hill.  It’s the ingredients.  The pork chop she learned her skills on is not the same as the chop she buys today.

But that’s OK, as long as you know.

Cooking time is not as important as internal temperature.  Those little electronic temperature gauges with attached probes that go right into the meat and stay there throughout the process are a Godsend.

Here’s the last batch of pork chops I made.  Thick cut, just salt, pepper and a little Worcestershire sauce in a frying pan.  Cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees only.  Put the probe in the center of a chop (from the side, you can’t really tell the center from the top).

Moist, tender, juicy still.

If it gets to 180 degrees, it will be tough, dried out and very chewy.

Same goes for your turkey.  It takes less time today to cook a bird than the same size bird from 20 years ago.  Cooking by time is a sure way to serve dried out bird.

It’s Christmas.  Treat yourself.  Get and use an internal temperature probe thermometer.  Kohl’s has them on sale for less than $20.

With the price of meat these days, it’s a bargain.

Seriously, ask your mom about shopping in her day.  It’s not the same, so cooking techniques need to change as well.

In my opinion!

.

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Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Onions Glazed in a Maple Brown Sugar (and a little Bourbon) Sauce

Our Krazy Kitchen is collecting side dish recipes from our Thanksgiving meal.  What a terrific idea, since the difference in Thanksgiving and Christmas meals is mostly the enthusiasm for the food.  Personally, I think I like Thanksgiving best.  No pressure of gift giving or decorations; it’s just a day to celebrate food and family.


So, submit away.  I want to see what spectacular things you all made!


I think this rates as spectacular.  We had 4 adults and 3 children around our Thanksgiving meal.  We ate at 2 PM and again at about 8 for the leftover rush.  This was the only dish that was completely gone… no leftovers.


That must count for something.


And, it was the easiest thing I made for the meal…


3 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
5 carrots, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch segments.


You get the idea, you want to have all the pieces about the same size, so they are all cooked evenly.


For the glaze, I mixed together…


1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 shot (ounce and a half) of Bourbon


the alcohol will cook out, leaving that earthy nutty hint of taste behind.


And mix, coating each piece with the glaze.  I cooked mine covered in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to get everything soft.  Then i uncovered for an additional 15 minutes to get the outside just a little bit crispy.


So good.  Like I said, it was gobbled up, even by the kids (they liked the apples and carrots best).


And now, I need your help.


I have a very exciting give away being run on my site right now.  


Oh! NutsOh Nuts is a wonderful company.  Specializing in mail order ingredients you may not be able to get locally (dried Papya, Figs, Mangoes and Blueberries for an example).  



Raw Cashews
I am a HUGE fan of the “raw” cashews you can buy in bulk.  If all you have had is the oil coated, over salted cashew, you really haven’t tasted the true taste of a cashew.






Chocolate Pretzel Dark Chocolate Basket

They also have ready made gift baskets (like these chocolate covered pretzels in a dark chocolate basket), perfect to let your fingers do your Christmas shopping for you.


And of course, I always order a pound or two of the Chocolate Rocks.  Soft, candy coated and a fun way to make chocolate chip cookies a little different… Or how about making Rocky Road Brownies really look… Rocky!


So, here’s the deal, one lucky winner will get a $25 virtual gift certificate straight from the nut elf at Oh Nuts! They ship daily, so you will be able to get an order in and received before Christmas!


But, I have an opportunity that I would like to pursue with this company.  But, I need a show of strength in this contest.  I need several more comments (easy to enter, just make a comment on that days blog and you are entered) to be taken seriously by OH NUTS!


So, please do me a favor, come over to my post, A $25 GIVEAWAY and Wacky Uncle Dave Bakes Cookies for Their Drive Home.  Make a comment and sit back and wait for your win!!!


You will be doing yourself a favor to get an opportunity to get some terrific raw ingredients in time for your Holiday baking… And I sure will appreciate it!


Thanks for the chance to do the ad and lay it all out for you.


Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!


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Happy Thanksgiving & the tale of Pickle Eyeballs and the Church Basement Ladies

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Here is the tale of the pickled eyeball and the church basement ladies…

I promise there is food content coming, but first, I want to say a thank you to the ladies that started me on my foodie journey, the church basement ladies of Liberty Baptist Church in Pekin, Illinois. I have a long and sad story that I will not be telling today. But the short version of that story (the part you need to know to appreciate the happier parts) is that when I was a freshman in high school, my father got very sick. He spent several months at a hospital 150 miles from me. My mother stayed by his side most of that time. My older brother and I were asked to take care of ourselves while doctors do what they do.

A sad enough time, but in a way, very exciting. I was asked to grow before my time. But, 2 high school age kids could not have managed without a support system in place. We had friends and some family that looked in on us often. Not the least of which was my church family. Activities kept me busy, and church pot-luck dinners kept me fed beyond blue box max and cheese.

Church pot-luck dinners were amazing things. The ladies of the church would try to out do each other. Very competitive. Simple casseroles were followed by plates of imaginative meat dishes, followed by incredible desserts. Some of the best eating of my life happened in that basement. I still recall that miracle Sunday when the very first green bean casserole with French’s fired onions appeared on the table (I am old).

Like I said, the ladies were very competitive. On pot-luck day, there were a handful of “church basement ladies” who warmed all the dishes during service so that when the singing, praying and eating the heads of live roosters was finished, the congregation was fed hot items. It was a difficult task, and there were a small select few members of the youth group that helped set up and do the beck and call of the ladies. I was one of those youth. I also got to be a part of the clean up. Which gave me a chance to be a bug on the wall, as these ladies would critigue the finished meal. I listened to the ladies discuss the best (and more often, they discussed the worst) of the meal. They knew which church members were taking home empty plates (a huge honor), and which dishes were barely touched. Not all comments were… Christian. Like I said, very competitive.

Which brings me to the ladies that started me on my journey to my first culinary success… 

One Sunday afternoon, the ladies challenged me to bring a covered dish for the next potluck. During the Witty banter that followed, I not only vowed to bring a covered dish, but by the end of the day, I would be taking that dish home empty. Remember, due to the volume of foods served, for one dish to be emptied, it would need to be an exceptional item.

This recipe came from a friend’s mother who assured me that no one could resist these.
Three ingredients:
Cream Cheese
Buddig meat
Pickles

3 steps…

  • wrap a pickle with a bit of cream cheese 
  • wrap that with a few slices of buddig meat 
  • cut into slices
And sure enough, when these were made, when they were presented at the pot-luck, the plate was empty at the end of the day. Whatever smallmeasure of success I may have had since then as a cook or host, I will never be as thrilled as when I was announced by the church basement ladies to have an empty dish to take home! These ladies gave me the first and best encouragement I ever received regarding foodie matters.

So, to those unsung heroines of the basement, those ladies that kept the social wheels of the church greased… To those wonderful ladies that went out of their way to befriend a sad child, worried about his family… And to the ladies that encouraged me after my first, albeit simple, culinary success… Today I am thankful…
Thanksgiving has a complicated origin in the United States. Only occasionally were there presidential proclamations of a national day of thanks prior to the American Civil War. In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving day. Since that day, Thanksgiving has been observed annually. Likewise, only a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor, in 1941, Thanksgiving became a federal holiday. It is not a coincidence that this most “family” centric of all our holidays has it’s origins when we were asking our best and bravest to sacrifice to the fullest measure of devotion. Enjoy your day with your family, make all your friends welcome in your home, and consider for a moment (dare I be politically incorect and ask you to pray for) the people in harm’s way who earn our thanks every day.

Happy Holidays, enjoy your day and have a moist, tender, golden brown and delicious bird!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!

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3 secrets you should do for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

  First thing… I made my first video… what do you think????

And now, on to Thanksgiving…

A body of work is an interesting thing.

Last year I posted about making a… Beer Butt Turkey.

Also, I made a… Fried Turkey.

And of course I made a… Smoked Turkey.

If you haven’t decided how you want to cook your bird, take a look at those links for tips.  BUT, no matter how you make your bird this year, there are three simple steps you can use to make sure your bird is tender, juicy and most important, NOT dried out.

First is the easiest, pull that pop-up thermometer thingy out of your turkey and invest in a meat prop thermometer.  Internal temperature of a fully cooked turkey is only 170 degrees.  Those pop up thingies pop up when the bird is 185 degrees.  And 185 degrees on the outer layer of the bird.  Guaranteed to be too dry on the inside.

170 degrees is safe, cooked and moist and delicious.  Be sure to measure the temp at several points of the bird (including the thickest part of the thigh).  If all are 170 degrees, your bird is done!

Second is to cook your stuffing as dressing.  DO NOT STUFF YOUR TURKEY.  There are two reasons, first, if you densely stuff the cavity, it is possible that the turkey juices will not reach a high enough temperature to kill bacteria.  Food poisoning your guests will make for a memorable holiday, but it is not as much fun to watch football.

But also, it makes the bird thicker, harder to reach that consistent 170 degree temperature throughout.  If the cavity is empty, the hot air circulates inside as well as around the outside of the bird.  Bird cooks faster and more even.  That 170 degree mark is reached sooner and the bird is juicy throughout.

Finally… BRINE YOUR TURKEY!

Here’s how…

A honey brine. the night before the cook, I assembled my brining liquid…

3 gallons of water 
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups honey
5 cups ice

Heat 1 gallon water and the salt. Stir til all the salt is dissolved. Add the honey, again, stir til dissolved. Dump into a clean cooler, mix together everything else and add the bird. This also works well in one of those BIG freezer bags. Don’t add the ice, but put the bagged bird into a cooler and than add ice and some water to surround the bagged bird and keep it from getting to room temps.

Let sit for 12 to 24 hours.

I was sharing space with my neighbors bird, who was also frying his bird.

Making a brine is simple, and is a wonderful way to add moisture to your finished product. My sainted mother would use that hideous pop-up built in thermometer as her way of telling when the turkey is done. IN FACT, those thermometers are set to go off at about 180 degrees, guaranteeing your bird will be dry and tough prior to serving. Ideal internal temperature is only 165 degrees. Every degree above that only dries out your bird. But I digress…

Brining adds moisture to your bird, and allows the bird to cook more evenly. Smarter people than I have done the science research. Click HERE to go to The Kitchen Project‘s page on brining. He goes through the science of what a brine does, recipes, history and techniques.



Happy Holidays, enjoy your day and have a moist, tender, golden brown and delicious bird!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!

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Pomegranate Deviled Eggs

Don’t you love the colors…

Mardi Gras Purple and Gold came to mind when I saw these… Or Minnesota Vikings (Brett Favre…. really, does anyone think that was a good idea???), LA Lakers or Washington Huskies.  For a select area of the country, these colors could be the big hit of a sports themed party.

And very easy.

First, I guess the why question comes up.

I am toying with ideas.  I was selected to host a POM WONDERFUL Pomegranate themed party.  If all goes well, fame, glory and valuable prizes will be winging my way.  If things don’t…. well, I still got a big bunch of Pomegranates, lots of bottles of POM Wonderful Juice and I got to spend a week pondering what if…

Like what happens if you soak a hard boiled egg in Pomegranate juice for a day.

OK, only a few more days till the party and I get to be normal again.

But wait…  Have you sampled POM juice?  It has a very distinctive taste.  Tart, tangy a little sweet filled with taste.  Did the marinade affect the taste of the eggs.
You BET!  That Pom Tang makes these unusual (in a good way), unexpected (always a good thing) and they make a fun presentation!

No big secret… Only slightly hard part os to get Pomegranate Juice.  Sure, you could buy a bottle, but where’s the fun???
Pomegranates are in season now, stores are full of them.  Don’t be scared…  be experimental!

To get at the good stuff, there are 6 easy steps…


Step 1 is to cut.  

Just a bit off the top....

Look at the photo, cut just about an inch from the top, and slice all the way through.


Step 2 is to SCORE

OK, if you look close inside the Pomegranate, you will see white membranes. these membranes hold the seeds, and are what attaches the seeds to the fruit, which is attached to the branch, the trunk, the roots and the nutrients that feed it. It’s the cycle of life without a Lion. Scoring means to cut down through those membranes. Keeps the arils intact and less mess. Leave the last 1/2 inch uncut so you can…

Step 3 is to Open

Now we’re at the good part.

Feel free to taste test the little seed sacks. FILLED with juice, sweet, a little tangy and ready to eat! But to actually cook with them, we need to open it up, just peel down the sides. Now, you can see all the seeds, all the arils.


Step 4 is to Loosen

If you are afraid of the mess, you can use a spoon for this step. But let’s get Zen with it. Be the Pomegranate… Feel the Pomegranate.. Live the Pomegranate lifestyle. get in there and pop the arils off with your thumb.

Just a small word of caution with this step. Wear an apron, or be very careful. The juice is wonderful, but it does stain. Work with the sides of the pomegranate towards you and the seeds away, when you separate them, it is less likely that the juice will pop towards you.

When you separate the arils from the membrane, always empty them into a bowl of water. the seeds sink (they are full of juice), while the white membrane will rise to the top, making it easy to…


Step 5 is to Scoop

With the membrane floating, it is easy to scoop the white parts out. The membrane is about the only inedible part of a pomegranate. It is very bitter. So scoop out all you can. Again, run your fingers through the seeds and make sure as much as possible has been removed.

Step 6 is to Strain

Pour through a colander, or scoop out with a slotted spoon,  but stack em up! 

You get about a cup and a half of arils out of each Pomegranate.

……………………………………………….
And there you go, How to open a Pomegranate in 6 easy steps!

Pour the Arils into a blender or food processor to get the juice.  Run through a collander to get the seeds out and you are set!!!

Now, let’s make the deviled eggs.

I have a trick to make perfect hard boiled eggs… Not too soft, not too hard.  Put eggs in a pot, cover with water about an inch above the eggs.  Now, put on high heat until the water reaches a rapid boil (only about 3 minutes).  Remove from the heat, cover and wait 10 minutes…

DONE!

Remove the shells and soak in the Pom Juice for 24 hours.  Stir every few hours to evenly coat.

And from there, just make deviled eggs.  Easiest recipe…

cut the eggs in half, remove the yolks.

add juice of 1/2 a lemon, mayonnaise and yellow mustard to taste (I do a 2 to 1 mayo over mustard mix) until you reach a thick paste stage.

Fill the eggs and you are done…


POMEGRANATE DEVILED EGGS

and they do have that snappy taste!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!






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SEAFOOD CASSEROLE EXTRAODINAIRE

Hi everyone, Tamy here filling in for Dave.  You can normally find me at my home blogs 3 Sides of Crazy, Always Eat On The Good China, on Sundays here at OUR KrAzY kitchen and on Saturdays over at THE Motivation Station, but covering today for Dave.  I made this a while back for Magazines Mondays.  The guys loved it and it’s perfect for Dave’s theme, I CAN COOK THAT!
I really intended to stick with this recipe as it was written, really I did! But, as I read it more closely I felt some changes coming on. You know that feeling you get when you realize hubby won’t like ingredient 5 or your son would hate ingredient x, etc… The more I messed with the recipe the further it got from what the intended.

So here is their recipe as written:


BLEND IN THE BAYOU
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 – 6 ounce cans crabmeat, drained and flaked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup cooked rice, prepared
4 1/2 ounce jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers
  • In a small saucepan, cook and stir the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, celery and green pepper in remaining butter until tender.
  • Stir in the shrimp, crab, soup, rice, mushrooms, garlic salt, pepper sauce, cayenne and cream cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish.
  • Combine crackers crumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over top.
  • Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until bubbly.
and here is the new recipe as made and enjoyed and savored as the plates were licked clean!













SEAFOOD CASSEROLE EXTRAODINAIRE
inspired by Taste of Home’s Blend in the Bayou

8 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large bunch green onions, chopped

4 large mushrooms, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 – 8 ounce package crabmeat, chopped & flaked
2 – 6 ounce cans white albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1 can cream of celery soup
3/4 cup cooked rice, prepared
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese
1/2 sleeve crushed butter-flavored crackers ( I used Keebler herb and butter)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan, cook and stir the cream cheese, soup and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon butter until tender.
  • Stir in the tuna, crab, soup, rice, mushrooms, salt, pepper sauce, chili powder and cream cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish.
  • Sprinkle crackers over top.
  • Bake, uncovered 25 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes more.

aprons 3

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Pan Seared rib Eye Steak

Sometimes you just want a great steak.  No fancy marinades, no fancy sauces, no fancy spices…  And much as I like my Grill… Sometimes you just want to have pan to serving plate in less than 15 minutes.  Give this a shot and you may never eat a steak another way… The technique comes a bit from Alton Brown.  Although he finishes in the oven (which I would do if using a thicker slice of meat).  Here’s the key… HOT HOT HOT pan.  Not a hot pan with oil, but a HOT pan. I use my cast iron skillet for this.  Heats evenly, retains heat and is so much fun to hear the sizzling steak when you start cooking.  Fair warning, the process will cause smoke.  No, it is not burning, but you do want to have a window open or the fan over your stove top running.
OK, here we go…
  • 2 – 1 inch thick Boneless Rib-eye Steaks (about a 8 oz each) 
  • 1 teaspoon Canola Oil 
  • 1 TBS Kosher Salt 
  • 1 TBS freshly ground Black Pepper
  1. Allow steaks to come to room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Heat your skillet… High for 5 minutes.  No oil, no seasonings… just cast iron and heat.  You want the skillet to be about 500 degrees.
  3. Lightly coat steaks with conola oil, then liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks in the pan and do not touch them for 1 minute.  Use a kitchen timer.  (Note: expect a lot of smoke, turn the fan on your hood).
  4. Flip the steak with tongs (note: NEVER use a fork, never put holes in your meat when cooking, always use tongs) and cook for another 1 minute.  Your steaks are now temped @rare.
  5. Repeat each side for 1 minute each and your steaks are @medium rare (perfect for me)
  6. Repeat each side for 1 minute each and your steaks are @medium (perfect for Jackie)
  7. OR… Check the internal temperature of your steaks.  Medium Rare steaks are done when they reach an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees (mine took 4 minutes to cook).  Medium Well steaks (shudder) are done when they reach 145-150 degrees (Jackie’s took 6 minutes).
  8. Rest the meat for 5 minutes (Note: this step is VERY important.  Have you ever seen steak served in a pool of blood?  This step will fix that unsightly problem.  The juices will collect in the meat and remain if you rest the meat uncut for 5 minutes.  Actually, I rest mine in a double layer of aluminum foil.  This also keeps the meat hot the entire time, so you can serve a HOT medium rare steak at the same time you are serving a HOT medium well steak.  Just trust the temperature prob, and DO NOT EVER CUT INTO THE STEAK TO TEST DONENESS! 
Alton does explain the proper way to check for internal temperature (from the side, not the top.  You want to measure the temp at the thickest part of the meat, in the center.  When you check from the top, it is hard to find the center).

He also explains a complicated set up for resting.  I confess that aluminum foil works for me, and I did not follow his resting collection method for collecting juices.  Buy the book and take a look for yourself if you want to get complicated.

Here’s a shot of a medium rare steak and a medium steak (trust me, medium rare is better), but notice no dripping juices, they are all in the rested meat.





Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!

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Blue and Yellow Corn Muffins from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Restaurant

Presentation and taste…
Mostly taste!  These little gems are Bobby Flay’s Blue and Yellow Corn Muffins. According to Bobby, these are the most consumed item at hisMESA GRILL restaurants.  They are the hit of his bread basket.

And look close, Fresh sweet corn, red bell peppers and jalapeños add color, texture and taste. Out of the ordinary muffins to be sure.

Finding the blue corn meal can be a bit of a challenge.  There are plenty of places on the internet to order.  I found this at my neighborhood store.  Oddly enough, it was not on the shelf sitting next to “regular” corn meal, it was sitting in the gourmet food section.  So, you may need to hunt, but it does exist, and it is available.  Just start asking.

But, the blue is just for looks.  Tastes the same as yellow corn meal.  So, feel free to use this recipe with the easy to find stuff.

One other note, I use something called “Polenta Corn meal”.  The ingredient list is exactly the same, but the color is much deeper yellow. Tastes the same, just better presentation.

Makes 12 large muffins or 3 dozen little mini muffins…

Nonstick cooking spray
6 TBS Butter
1 cup fresh Sweet Corn kernels (can use frozen)
1/2 cup finely diced Red Onions
1/2 cup finely diced Red Bell pepper
1/2 cup smashed and chopped roasted Garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 jalapeño Chili Peppers, finely diced 
2 TBS finely chopped Cilantro
1 1/2 cup all-purpose Flour
1TBS Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
4 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/3 cups whole Milk
4 large Eggs
2 TBS Honey
1 cup Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup Blue Corn Meal


OK, before I get to the instructions, a bit of fair warning, if you compare the ingredient list to what is printed in the Mesa Grill Cookbook, there are a couple of little changes.  I doubled the amount of corn.  I like corn.  I like the looks of corn just busting out of these muffins when you break into one.  And the Kansas Sweet Corn right now is the best in the world.  I also roasted the garlic cloves (350 degree oven, rubbed with olive oil, wrapped in aluminum foil for 30 minutes).  The book says to mince the cloves.  I roast em, smash em with the blade of a knife and chop those. The roasting adds deeper garlic flavor.  The smashing makes more of a paste, makes for a creamier taste.

  1. Roast the garlic while you Mise en Place the veggies.  Start chopping.
  2. Rack in the middle of the oven, preheated to 400 degrees.  Grease a 12 muffin pan, or mini muffin pans.  I was going to serve these with soup, so made mini muffins that worked great as croûtons.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add the smashed and diced garlic.  Divide the mixture evenly between two bowls.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, eggs, red peppers, jalapeños, corn and cilantro.  Add half of the mixture in with each of the bowls containing the onion mixture.
  5. Put the blue and yellow corn meal in separate bowls.  Add half the flour, baking powder and baking soda in with the corn meal.  Sprinkle a bit of salt in each.  Mix each corn meal mixture with the separate onion mix. 
  6. Put a spoon full of each mixture side by side in a muffin mold.  Do not mix, as you want the Yin/Yang look.  Bake for 16 minutes (or for 14 minutes if you are making the mini muffins).
And, I used these as the base for a Cajun Spiced “Taco” salad Casserole, Click HERE to see that post over on my own site.
Here’s a few more photos to give you a better idea of how to make these…




This is the third recipe I made from the book.  Great to cook from, great to inspire (and even better to eat from!)


Bobby is a winner!


Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!

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Sloppy Joe Sliders on Green Onion Cilantro "Knot" Rolls

Good Morning my friends!

What a glorious last couple of weeks!  The air has a crispness, Fall is here and along with that is all the excitement of the coming seasons… 6 weeks to Thanksgiving and 10 weeks to Christmas!  I am already plotting Thanksgiving dinner, and these rolls, flavored with a Bobby Flay sauce were a successful experiment.


I posted the secret to that success over on my “real” site today (click HERE).


But the guts to these sliders are my regular sloppy Joe mix.  Don’t bother with the over salted, over processed, over chemical laced cans of goo.  This recipe is much tastier and better for you. 


1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
  • Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

And that’s it…. Quick, simple and tasty… what more could you want?


Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!

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Plan now to Steal – A recipe for your kid’s Halloween Candy

Save your kids from a lifetime of obesity… Steal their candy and make these little delights for yourself…

Fast and easy… Little baby candy bars and some puff pastry…

Wrapped in a square of puff pastry and you have a nice tasty little treat (and the kids stay fit and healthy).

A couple hints, roll out the puff pastry just about as flat as you can.  The pastry puffs up (duh).  You want these to stay bite size.  And the egg wash I talk about is VERY important.  Without good seals, the guts will blow out the pastry and not look right (tastes fine, but you want the little bundles, not a flatbread treat).

1 4X4 square of rolled out Puff Pastry
1 Egg, beaten for an egg wash to seal edges
a bit of candy bar… I used 1/2 a reese’s and/or 2 of the mini Crunch

And, pretty much that’s it… 

Bring the 4 corners together over the stuffing, press edges to seal and do a twist of the top.  Bake them in a 350 degree oven on parchment paper for 35 minutes and you have a Candy bar in a pastry!


Garnish with some fruit and drizzled chocolate if you like.  Garnish with the fruit just to keep the little darlings away from your stash!


Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!  

 … I CAN COOK THAT! 

And so can you!







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