Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upcoming weekend

I had big plans to come home after work and upload some pictures from past cooks. But somethings don't work out the way you think they will. I am leaving town tomorrow for the weekend and instead of sitting around playing on the computer, I thought it would be nice to go to dinner with Byrd, my wife. We went to a great local spot which serves, what I call, country Italian food. If you are ever in the area Lovoy's is a great comfort food spot. I had stuffed shells which were amazing as usual, she had the veal Parmesan. We took pictures, but the lighting wasn't that great so they weren't worthy of putting up. Back to me going out of town. It is the last weekend of deer season here in Alabama and I will be in the woods. But I will say that what will come out of this weekend should make for some great pics. My cousin MR has just finished a new cooker and will be taking it on its first run. On the menu ribs, chicken and butts. Here is the finished smoker.

Before seeing this, I am pretty sure I saw it in my sleep.
And yes below there are two fryers on the left.

If you think you are excited to see the food, imagine how excited I am to see it cooking.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The what's for dinner question?

In my line of work I am around food all day. That doesn't stop me from thinking of lunch while I eat my breakfast, which these days consists of coffee and yogurt. I think of dinner while eating lunch. I know it is sad, but this is how my mind works. Food. So while eating lunch with my wife, Byrd, who I am lucky enough to work with, I ask the daily question, "what are we having for dinner?" Which unless one of us wants something particular goes like this...Me "I don't care I will eat anything." Her "I don't care either" Usually followed by Her: "Pick something." So as usual she went to the store to pick out dinner for the night. Steak. Specifically Filet. I love when she makes decisions like this.

It has been an unusually cold winter here in the south. So one of my favorite grills, my Hibachi, took a beating. It is the perfect size to cook for two, and for now(not to rip off a great song) it is just the two of us. And it was a gift from my in laws. So yesterday I spent a few hours cleaning off all the rust. I have made a promise that I will not let this happen again and bought a cover for it. So here it is clean, I wish I would have done a before and after.
Back to the filets. With any good steak salt and pepper is about all you need, but from time to time I use Cavenders all purpose Greek seasoning. I love the flavor and it creates a great crust. Here is the revitalized little grill in action.
The steaks came off the grill after 7 or so minutes rare to medium rare which is our temperature. Byrd rubbed some potatoes in bacon grease, yes we keep it in the refrigerator its a southern thing I guess, and kosher salt, wrapped them in foil and baked them at 450 for an hour. We had some lima beans in the fridge so they made the plate as well. This is how dinner turned out.
I don't know if it is true but it has been said that the skin of the potato has more nutrients than all of the insides. Whether it is true or not I am lucky that I love the outside and Byrd loves the inside.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ribs and Deer Balls

Last Saturday we went over to my wife's parents house for a an afternoon of hanging out and eventually eating dinner. What a great time to try out a new style of ribs. I have cooked the same ribs since I was in college, no better guinea pigs than the so called "in laws". Here we have 2 slabs of baby back ribs. The back ribs are lightly dusted in Rut's Rub(I'll talk more about the rub another time) the front ribs are heavily coated in the same. This is one of my wife's family recipes. I have heard about them since I met her and now 3 years later I have been allowed to have them. I guess I finally made the cut. Here is the venison tenderloin before. We took this sliced it into 1 inch steaks. Then, using a meat cleaver, pounded them down to almost see through. Placed diced onions and bellbeppers, a dash of Dale's marinade, then wrapped them in bacon. Secured with toothpicks.

The deer balls after being prepared.
I did the front slab the way I always do which is an indirect cook at 225 degrees for almost 4 hours. The back slab I misted every 30 minutes with a mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar, Apple Juice, and Saw's Sauce(a great new BBQ place in Homewood, AL) for the first 2 hours. Then I wrapped them in foil with some of the liquid in the bottom. I kept them on for another hour and 30 minutes, removed them from the foil and basted them with the Saw's Sauce for the last 30 minutes. As much as I love dry ribs I have to say the wet one's were delicious.
The "deer balls" we cooked directly over the heat until the bacon was crisp. This will depend on the thickness of the bacon. I wouldn't over cook when using venison because it will dry out, even when wrapped in bacon. The deer balls are on the right. The left is some venison sausage we smoked because the 4 of us didn't think we had enough meat for 1 dinner.
I will say that all of this plus some great potato salad, baked beans, and deviled eggs it was a great Saturday. I still stand by my dry ribs, but with the family approval of the new ones, I will continue to try new ways.