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  1. With the wife and I on the Weight Watchers plan, I’ve been avoiding some of my favorite Mexican dishes. Now that I think about it, this really isn’t necessary if I’m carefully what I choose and how I prepare the dishes. Take fajitas for example. A protein, seasoning and some veggies. Made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and not much oil the fajitas themselves are only 1 point per serving. I can live with a diet that includes chicken fajitas, can’t you? Well, that leads me to the sides. Made carefully many of the sides are 0 to only 2 points per serving. Follow along with me and I’ll show you how I prepared everything. The night before I mixed up some blue corn masa to make up some tortillas. (This is the one item I couldn’t cheat on to lower the point value. 3 tortillas = 5 points) I also got out the onion and bell peppers to cut up and mixed up the fajitas seasoning. Ingredients: 1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. smoked paprika 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. onion powder 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to taste 1/4 tsp. Chipotle pepper 1/4 tsp. Oregano The next day started out by making a batch of my Mexican rice. (1 Point per serving) Started out by sautéing the veggies. I measured out 2 cups of Brown rice, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of OO and put this in the rice maker. I now added 1 cup of Clamato Picante juice and 3 cups of chicken stock. Next, I added the veggies to the pot. I closed the lid and pressed start. Here are the results. Next up was the Guacamole. (2 points per serving) Cut up 1 medium Hass avocado. Now I added 1 tbsp. of light mayo, some granulated garlic, 5 heaping tbsp. of my Pico de Gallo, some fresh squeezed lime juice and mixed this up and covered. Next up were some frijoles. I sautéed some diced onion, 1/2 a jalapeno, some bell pepper and corn and then added two kinds of black beans. (0 points per serving) I now got out 3 boneless skinless breasts and coated them with the fajitas seasoning. I took them and the cut-up veggies out to my gas grill side burner. Now I needed to make the tortillas, so I rolled up 6 balls of masa about the size of a golf ball. I flatted them a little to make them easier to press out. I was some issues with the masa sticking to the press so had to experiment with dusting the bottom with some of the blue core masa. I heated them up on a C.I. griddle, very lightly sprayed with some OO. Next I sprayed my 12” Camp Chef C.I. skillet with some OO. After it was heated it up I put the 3 breast in and cooked them for 8 minutes per side. Once they were cooked I removed them to a cutting board and was left with the fond. I dumped in the onions and bell peppers and let them start to cook. While them were cooking I sliced up the chicken. Now I dumped in the chicken and stirred it in and continued to cook until the veggies had soften. Now I brought it all in and plated it up with a Modelo Negra. Here is a shot once I took it inside to eat. Gratuitous side shot close ups. OMG!!! This was so delicious! Thanks for looking.
  2. In my other post, I was asked if I would post the recipe for this. It is not mine but is based on Rick Bayless's recipe. I tweaked the cooking method and adjusted for 8.5 lbs. of pork. The pictures below the recipe were from last years cook and are there to give you a better idea of how I cooked it. (I apologize in advance for the length of this post) Here are the ingredients for the marinade and the pickled onion: Marinate: 4 tbsp. (about 2 ounces) achiote seeds / powder 1 tbsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1 tbsp. black pepper (preferably fresh ground) 1 tsp. cumin (preferably fresh ground) ½ tsp. cloves (preferably fresh ground) 1 tbsp. cinnamon (preferably Mexican canela and fresh ground) 10 garlic cloves ¾ tbsp. Salt 1-1/4 cups fresh sour orange juice OR 1 cups fresh lime juice plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 1 large (8.5 lb.) pork shoulder 1 lb. package of banana leaves (Note: Some add peppers to the marinate but I don't as my wife and MIL don't like the heat. It tastes great without it and you can always add any kind of heat / salsa to it later as Rick mentions) Directions: Measure the achiote seeds or powder and oregano into a spice grinder, adding the black pepper, cumin, cloves and cinnamon, and run the grinder until everything’s as powdery as you can get it (you may need to work in batches). In a blender, combine the ground mixture with the salt, the garlic and sour orange juice (or lime juice plus orange juice). Blend until smooth—there should be very little grittiness when a little is rubbed between your fingers. If you’re working ahead, pour the mixture into a non-aluminum container, cover, refrigerate 6 hours or longer. Before using, blend the mixture again to give it an even smoother texture. (The long steeping and second blending isn’t absolutely essential, though without it the marinade may be a little gritty.) Here's a link to Rick Bayless's recipe: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/cochinita-pibil/ Pickled Red Onion: (From Rick Bayless’s recipe but I tweaked it and adjusted it for 2 onions) 2 large red onions, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick 1 ½ cups fresh sour orange juice OR 1 cup fresh lime juice plus ½ cup fresh orange juice 2 tbsp. white vinegar 1 tsp. salt 1 habanero cut in half (If desired) Directions: While the meat is cooking, prepare the onions. Scoop the onions into a non-aluminum bowl. Pour boiling water over them, wait 30 to 45 seconds, then pour the onions into a strainer. Return the drained onions to the bowl, pour on the sour orange juice (or the lime-orange combo) and stir in 1 teaspoons salt. Add 1 habanero cut in half if you want a little heat. (Hint: it doesn't add that much) Cover and set aside until serving time. Here is an 8.5 lb. pork shoulder I trimmed most of the fat cap off and then scored it on both sides. I mixed up the ingredients for the marinate and poured it over the pork on one side and then the other. I covered it with foil and let it rest in the fridge overnight. In the morning I started prepping the banana leaves to get them more pliable by heating them up in the oven. I place 2 sheets of wide aluminum foil in opposite directions. On top of this I place 2 sheets of parchment paper in the opposite directions of the foil. And now I place on some banana leaves. I overlap all the joints by a good 3 to 4 inches and alternate the direction of the leaves to try and minimize leakage. Now I can wrap up the pork shoulder in the banana leaves and tie with butcher’s twine. (Note: This is much harder than you’d think. Try to have someone there to help tie the knots in the twine.) Then parchment paper and finally the aluminum foil. (Wow! I could work in the shipping department. ) OK I now light start up the kamado with a full load of lump and set it up for indirect cooking. Once it gets up to 325 I put on the Cochinita Pibil package. Let it get up to 350. I going to check it in 4 1/2 hours to see how things are going. While I’m waiting I made up some Pickled Red Onion and some fresh tortillas. Was able to relax a little and then checked the I.T. of the meat. Yes! Now I carefully unwrap my package. And transfer it to an aluminum pan. And continue unwrapping. OH IT’S JUST LIKE CHRISTMAS! Fish out all the banana leaves And the bone And pull the meat. It was literally so tender that I could’ve just stirred it with a spoon and it would’ve fallen apart. And now for the moment of truth! Here it is plated in some tacos with some Tostones appetizers, radishes and guacamole and chips. Off the charts goodness!
  3. My wife and I have been cooped up in our house for 2 weeks so we decided to take a drive just to get out. We drove down to Downtown San Diego to see what things were like and found a virtual ghost town. This video shows us driving up 5th in the Gaslamp District. Normally there would be thousands of people on the sidewalks and bumper to bumper traffic. Pretty surreal!
  4. I’m really getting into wok cooking. Here a cook I did last Sunday for Dinner. Here are most the ingredients. Ingredient List: 2 Tbsp light soy sauce 1 Tbsp oyster sauce 1 Tsp Siracha 1 Tbsp butter 2 eggs, beaten, seasoned with salt 2 Tbsp cooking oil (I used Sesame) 2 cloves garlic, chopped (approximately 1 1/2 tsp) 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger 1/2 cup small diced onion (approximately 1/2 of medium size onion) 1 boneless skinless chicken thighs (approximately 4 to 5 oz) (I used Chicken Breast) 1/4 cup carrot, small diced 2 cups cold jasmine rice, or brown jasmine rice, recommended a day old (I used Cauliflower Rice) 1/4 cup frozen peas, optional (I added Celery) 4 green onions, chopped sesame seeds for garnish salt and pepper I heated up the wok and put in 1 tbsp. of sesame oil. I then put in the ginger, garlic and onion and let them start to soften. Next was the carrots. (Cooked for approximately 1 minute) Next was the chicken. (Cooked until it was opaque) Next was the celery including some leaves. (Cooked for approximately 1 minute) Now I added the rice and the sauce. (Mixed it together and cooked for approximately 1 minute) Next, I moved the mixture aside and added another tbsp. of sesame oil and added the beaten eggs. (Cooked until it had mostly formed solid. Approximately 1 minute) I then mix everything together. (Cooked for approximately 1 minute) And finally, I added the green onion. I cooked it for approximately 30 seconds and served. Sorry no plated shot but this was delicious! Thanks for looking.
  5. Our lemon tree is loaded with lemons, so I looked up things to cook with lemons. Chicken Scallopini uses lemon juice so I looked up a recipe and came up with this. Ingredients: 2 Chicken Breasts (Boneless & Skinless – Cut in half) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1/4 cup Flour 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs 1 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. capers 1 tsp. minced parsley (and some for garnish) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay) Cooking spray for pan I started out covering my counter with plastic wrap and got out 2 boneless / skinless breasts. I cut them in half horizontally, seasoned them with salt and pepper and covered them with plastic wrap. I pounded them out to approximately ¼” thick. I dredged them in a mixture of half flour and half Italian bread crumbs. I spray my non-stick pan with a little red pepper olive oil and pre-heated it over medium high heat and placed in 2 pieces of chicken. I cooked it for 3 minutes and flipped them. (You can see the red and golden potatoes cooking on the back burner) Once all 4 pieces were cooked, I put 1 tbsp. of butter and 1/2 tsp. of flour in the pan. I mixed them together and than put in the capers, parsley, lemon juice and white wine. I let this cook down for approximately 2 minutes. Once it started to reduce, I put the chicken back in and gave each piece a good coating while they reheated. Here it is plated up with the potatoes and some green beans. This was so good! Thanks for looking.
  6. The wife and I are doing the Weight Watchers program so I’m eating quite a bit differently that I did in the past. This was cooked inside on the stove top, but thought I’d share it anyway. (As it was delicious!) Ingredients: cooking spray (I used some Red Pepper infused OO spray) 1 medium Golden Potato, Diced into approximately ½” pieces ½ cup onion, chopped 1 medium poblano chile, seeded and diced. (Mine was small so I added some Bell Pepper I had left over) 1 cup corn 1 cup black beans, drained 1 cup zucchini, Diced into approximately ½” pieces (I used a Mexican Squash) 1 tsp cumin (I used ½ tsp of Fajita seasoning and ½ tsp of cummin) 1 pinch salt, or to taste ½ cup, green variety (I used 2 Tbsp of the Hatch Chile and 4 tbsp of Herdez salsa verde - plus extra for garnish) 4 large eggs 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (for garnish) Here a pic of most of the ingredients I used. I started out by dicing up the potato and putting it in a slightly sprayed Non-Stick skillet to start cooking. Once it started to brown, I put the onion, poblano and bell peppers. Once it started to sweat, I added the black beans, corn, squash and seasoning. I let this cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes. After that I stirred in the Hatch chilies and Salsa Verde and let that cook another minute. I then made 4 depressions in the mixture and crack the eggs in them. I covered the skillet to help the tops of the eggs cook. And afterwards I plated it up with some wheat toast. As I said, this was delicious and except for the toast, it was zero points for the Purple Program we’re on! Thanks for looking.
  7. I’ve been using these basic whetstones that I purchased a few years ago. I believe both stones ran me under $55.00. They work fairly well, but are a little on the small side, so I’ve been wanting to upgrade. I had a mess of Amazon gift cards so I looked to see what I could get. The first thing I purchased for my kit was a pet food mat that will serve as my work station. If I want to sharpen in the house, I need something to contain any water or slurry from making its way onto the countertop. This is a 24” x 16” silicone mat with a ½” lip and little raised nubs to keep things from sliding around. Next were the stones and a holder. The Suehiro brand of whetstones seemed to have excellent reviews on both Amazon and Youtube so they are what I purchased for most of them. From left to right they are a Suehiro Cerax 320 grit, Suehiro Cerax 1000 grit, Atoma Diamond 140 coarse flattening stone, Suehiro Rika 5000 and a Kiyayama 8000 grit finishing stone. This picture shows the stone holder in the middle. Here’s a size comparison shot between the old stones and the new stones. Here’s a close up picture of the Kitayama 8000 stone. Here’s a picture of my soaking pond with the mat rolled up next to it. And finally all the stones and the holder in the container. I just sharpened most of my knives on the old stones. I’m now going to try sharping one on the new stones to see if there is any difference. I’ll let you all know what I find out. Thanks for looking.
  8. Wanted to start Super Bowl Sunday out right. I decided on Huevos Rancheros. Started out making the sauce by sautéing some onions and bell pepper. Once they had started to wilt, I added a can of diced tomato. After that had cooked for a few minutes, I added a small can of rojas enchilada sauce and let this simmer for 15 minutes. After the sauce was done, I cooked up some potatoes. (While these were cooking, I cooked up some black beans inside) Grilled up some tortillas. And finally cooked up some eggs. (these were for the wife’s dish) With everything ready, I plated it up. Here are these pics served up with some orange juice and coffee. Thanks for looking.
  9. I been wanting to do this for a long time but didn’t have a proper equipment or the correct weather conditions. I recently bought an A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It was expected to get down to 41 degrees (fairly cool nights for Southern California) and it was only 67 during the day so I decided to give this a try. Around 4:00 PM I started by cooling the kamado down by placing 5 pieces of Blue Ice in it. Around 8:30 it reached 50 degrees outside, so I started up the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in my gasser so as not to heat up the kamado. Once it ignited, I let it burn for a few minutes before blowing out the flame. I let it smoke while I went in and prepared the cheese. I had purchased 2 lbs. of Gouda, Colby Jack and Sharp Cheddar at Costco. I took them out of their wrappers. I cut them up into smaller sizes so they could absorb more smoke and placed them on a wire rack. I then placed the A-MAZE-N smoking tube in the bottom of my kamado. I next put in both of my ceramic heat deflectors, then the grill grates and then the rack of cheese. (You can see some of the smoke coming up around the deflectors) I closed the lid and observed a small amount of smoke coming out the top vent. An hour later it looked like this. After two hours in the smoke I opened the lid. WOW! I brought the rack in the house where I could see a subtle change in the cheese color. I vacuum packed them all and placed them in the fridge to age and mellow for 3 weeks. This morning I when out to see how much of the pellets were left in the A-MAZE-N smoking tube. It looks like approximately 1/3 was left unburnt. I’m thinking it could’ve gone at least another hour. I can’t wait to try them but will wait to let time do its thing on them first. Thanks for looking.
  10. A certain knife dealer site had so good of prices on some nice knives in BD1N stainless that I couldn’t help myself. (It’s a sickness I tell ya!) Anyway, here’s some pics of my new tools. 9” hollow edge craving knife and fork set. 6” curved boning knife. I had a Big Poppa gift certificate I’d won in a throwdown that was burning a hole in my pocket so, I placed a couple of items I didn’t already have in my cart. Also added 2 rubs on sale that I thought I’d use a lot. I already used the carving knife for Christmas Eve dinner with my family and hope to use the other items real soon. Thanks for looking.
  11. On New Year’s Eve we had our friends over for dinner. They were getting up early to go to the Rose Parade so the evening ended early but we still had a great time. I made 2 pizzas. The first was a Hawaiian Pizza with red onion, black olives, Canadian bacon and pineapple. The second was a Meat Lover’s Pizza with red onion, black olives, peperoni and Italian sausage. Both were delicious but I have to say the Meat Lovers was my favorite. Thanks for looking.
  12. Most of you who’ve been around a few years, know this is the time of year that I go full Griswold. Here’s a pic of my house from a few years ago. It gets a little bigger every year. This year I rented a boom to put lights up in our 50’ tall Italian Cypress you can see to the left of our garage. (Sorry no photo of it this year) Anyway, as is our family’s tradition, we host everyone on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents. In attendance were my two brothers that live here in California. They came down from the L.A. area along with my niece, my nephew and his fiancé. (in addition to my wife and I) We like to vary the meal menu each year. One year we will cook Tamales, (A So. Cal. Christmas staple) the next we’ll do Ham, then Turkey, then a nice Ribeye Roast. We hadn’t had Ham since 2016 so we settled on that. We were quite busy making all the dinner and fixing’s, so I didn’t have a lot of time to take a whole lot of photos but here are the few that I did get. Here’s the ham on the kamado for the first few hours at 275. Here’s a pic of the stove with the beans, carrots, potatoes and gravy on top. (Green Bean Casserole and biscuits in the oven) Here’s the ham after the 2 hours in foil with the pineapple and cherries added for another 10 minutes at 425. Here’s the ham on the table waiting for the rest of the fixings to join it. (It’s funny but I didn’t realize that this is almost the exact same photo from 2016) Here’s everyone waiting to dig in. Here the one photo I got of the food and table. (As you can see we broke out our finest plastic cups for this dinner ) Here’s what everyone looked like when I asked if they could wait for me to take more / better photos of the food. Everything was delicious and we had a great time that evening. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for looking.
  13. We spent Thanksgiving with good friends and neighbors and their family. We were tasked with providing the dressing and a pecan pie. The pie we bought from Costco but for the dressing I made my favorite Cranberry, Apple and Walnut dressing. (Recipe can be found here: Here are most of the ingredients. Melted the butter and sautéed the onions and celery. Combined the cranberries, apple and walnuts. After the butter, onions, celery, apple cider and chicken stock had simmered 10 minutes I stirred it into the dry dressing and spread it out into the baking/serving dish. I covered this with AF and cooked it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then uncovered it. I cooked for another 25 minutes at 350 and this is the results. Here are some pics of the rest of the dinner entrée’s that we enjoyed. Mashed potatoes. Miscellaneous sides. White meat plate. Dark meat plate. My plate. We had a great time of food and fellowship. Hope you all had a great day as well. Thanks for looking.
  14. So my work had a Chili Cookoff contest and I decided to join in on the “fun”. I put fun in parenthesis because I had to make the chili on Tuesday after work and didn’t get done until it was 9:00. I then had to wait until it cooled off enough to put it in the fridge. So I’m in bed at 10:15 and the alarm is set for 4:30. This so I can shower and get everything ready and make the drive up to the L.A. area on Wednesday. I made a White Chicken Chili called Chili Blanco. I used a recipe from All Things BBQ. (Here's a link to his video: https://www.atbbq.com/thesauce/chili-blanco/) I tweaked the recipe a little. Here are the ingredients I used with my tweaks in red. · 2 lb chicken, boneless breasts or thighs (I used 4 boneless breasts) · Carne Asada Seasoning (I used Fajita seasoning) · 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil · 1 large yellow onion, diced · 3 Anaheim chiles, seeded, diced (I used 2 Anaheim and 1 Poblano) · 1 jalapeno, seeded, diced · 1 tbsp All Purpose Rub · 1 tbsp ground cumin · 1 tsp Mexican oregano · 4 cloves garlic, minced · 3 tbsp unsalted butter · 1/4 cup flour · 2 (15 oz) cans of great northern beans, drained, rinsed · 1 quart unsalted chicken stock · 1 cup heavy cream (I used Caciqui Crema Salvadorena) · 8 oz cream cheese, cubed · 1 bunch cilantro, minced · 4 oz (1 cup) pepper jack cheese, grated Didn’t have time for a fully documented cook photo spread but here is what I did get. I had taken some chicken I had in the freezer and thawed it out. Assembled most of my spices (some I didn’t use) and the chicken. Sliced al the breast in half to increase the surface area and then sprinkled on the fajita seasoning. I grilled the chicken on my preheated Grill Grates I got from BPS. Brought then inside to cool while I started prepping the veggies and other ingredients. Onion and Poblano diced and now the Anaheim’s added. I took all this out and placed it in my 9 Qt. Dutch oven to sauté. This is where I was pushing for time and quit taken all the pictures that slow down the cooking process. I did get one of the final results. I really liked the flavor and heat profile of it. It had some heat, but the heat was flavorful and not just hot. My wife also liked it but indicated it was just a little to hot. (She still ate it 2 days in a row) I didn’t win the cookoff but came in 3rd. This is a little different that what everyone was used to. The traditional chili’s won but I did get a lot of complements on it. Thanks for looking
  15. I’ve made this pizza at least 10 times as it is my favorite. This morning I made up some pizza dough. Around 3:00 I prepped my kamado for pizza and lite it up to preheat. Around 3:30 I brought out my dough and all my ingredients. I applied a thin layer of BBQ sauce and some red onion. Then some red bell pepper and cilantro. Then some chicken breast I’d mixed up with some BBQ sauce and finally, the cheese. Placed it on the pizza stone in the kamado for approximately 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Here’s the result. As always, it was delicious. Thanks for looking
  16. Since my Husker Game was finally on in the evening we had a watch party at our house. I wanted something we could eat while watching the game, so I decided on Runzas (AKA Bierocks) and corn on the cob. (Both of which are Nebraska staples) I followed Cowgirl’s recipe with a few changes this time. This time I subbed out a 1 lb. chub of Jimmy Deans regular sausage for one 1 lb. of hamburger. I also tripled the amount of garlic. Both tweaks really added to the flavor and I’ll be doing so on all future batches. Here’s a link to a thread of my first attempt making these where the original recipe can be found. https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/23518-dutch-oven-bierocks-or-runzas-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-them/ Started out making up the dough. Prepped all the ingredients and took them all out to my gas side burner. Sweated the onion and added the hamburger. After the hamburger was mostly browned I added the salt, pepper and cabbage and cooked until it wilted. The dough had risen nicely so rolled it out into a log and cut it into 8 roughly equal pieces and formed each piece into a ball. I then rolled each piece into an approximate 7” round and placed 2 giant spoonful’s in the center. I folded up the edges and pitched them together and placed each into my Dutch Oven that I had already smeared with butter. I repeated this process until it was full. I prepped my kamado for the Dutch Oven and preheated it to 325. I then closed the lid and let this bake for approximately 35 minutes. And here is the result. I carefully cut around each one and plated one up with a ear of corn and wash this down with a Pizza Port Brewing Swami’s I.P.A. (IPA not shown) Yum! Everyone thought they were delicious and the game results were good as well. Thanks for looking.
  17. It’s been hot this last week here in Low Cal (Upper 90’s to low 100’s) but today it cooled off, so I grilled a few Cheeseburgers. I started out by cutting 2 russet potatoes up into 1/8th and then tossed in some OO and seasoned with some fresh ground salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and some thyme. I then seasoned the patties with Primo Chicago Stockyard rub. Here they are on the grill ready to be flipped. Flipped them. I then removed the patties and toasted the buns. While they were toasting I added some cheddar cheese slices to the patties. Once the buns were done I put the patties back on to melt the cheese. Here it is plated up with the Steak Fries and a Modelo Especial. YUM! Thanks for looking.
  18. Sent the long weekend off in style with a Double Meat Double Cheese Burger. Fired up Jr. for the patties. Flipped and removed them when they were done so I could add the cheese. Toasted the buns. One more time of the grill to melt the cheese. Plated this up with some watermelon, potato salad and a Stone Brewing Xocoveza. (Yum!) After a few bites of this monster. So good! Thanks for looking.
  19. For the long weekend we started out being invited over to our neighbor’s house for hamburgers. I was tasked with grilling up some corn. Once these started getting some golden-brown char marks, I put them in a large rectangular pan and covered them with foil. We took this over with two each, 3 portion plates of fixings. One plate had a stick of butter, salt and black pepper for traditional American style corn of the cob. The other plate had some mayo, Tajin seasoning and come Cotija Cheese for Mexican style street corn. Didn’t feel like I should be taking pictures at their house so that’s all I can share from the 4th. Today I grilled up some hamburger patties on my Akorn Jr. for some cheese burgers. After they were done I removed them and toasted the buns while I added the cheese to the burgers. One more stop on the grill to melt the cheese. Here is mine plated up with some potato salad, some watermelon and a Stone Brewing Vanilla Bean Porter. There nothing quite like enjoying a good cheeseburger on the 4th of July weekend. Thanks for looking.
  20. With the “Just Stuff It!” Challenge going on I searched for what might be on sale at one of the local stores. Sprouts had U15 shrimp on sale for $7.98 per lb. so I purchased a pound. I decided to prepare them my two favorite ways of cooking shrimp. The first is what I call Atomic Shrimp. (Which is bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheddar cheese and a slice of jalapeño. As the jalapeño doesn’t make it very “Atomic”, I switched it out for slices of serrano chilies. Here are most of the ingredients. I peeled and deveined the shrimp and then butterflied them. I also sliced the cheese and serrano chilies. I carefully placed the cheese and serrano in the shrimp and wrapped them with a slice of bacon. Once I had 10 of them done I placed them on the preheated kamado. I grilled them for approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side and once the bacon looked crispy I plated the 5 biggest ones up with a cilantro garnish and a Negra Modelo. Here are those pics. Delicious!!!!! I had 9 shrimp leftover so I skewered them, sprayed they with some EVOO and sprinkled them with some Tajin seasoning. Grilled them for approximately 3 minutes per side. Here are the plated pics with the Negra Modelo. These were also delicious but not quite as good as the bacon wrapped ones. Thanks for looking.
  21. Chicken is my wife’s favorite and I like to cook things she’ll like, most of the time , so I cooked up some Chichen Shawarma. Started out by skinning and de-boning some chicken thighs that I had thawed out. I cut each in half and set them aside in the fridge. I now got out the ingredients for a yogurt based Sharwarma marinade. Everybody in the pool and gave it a good spin with the whisk. I then put the chicken thighs in and stirred it up to get complete coverage on all surfaces. I then covered the bowl with plastic wrap and placed them in the fridge to rest overnight. Now I made up a batch of Tzatziki. Link to recipes: The next day I broke out my vertical spit. And loaded it up with the Shawarma and topped it with a nice thick slice of red onion After I had preheated my kamado up to 325 for 1/2 hour I put the Shawarma in. I checked on it after about 25 minutes and knew it could go much longer. After about 1 hour I started getting everything ready. I cut up my veggies and got the Tzatziki out. I also set up my craving station. Once the Shawarma developed some char on it, I removed it and sliced off the outer layer and then placed it back in the kamado. I warmed up some flat bread and spooned on some Tzatziki and then made up some Shawarma Sammi’s. Here they are served street food style with a Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin and some mandarin orange slices. SO GOOD! Thanks for looking.
  22. I love Tacos al pastor but have never made them myself. They are a popular street food here in SoCal and Mexico and I finally decided to try my hand at making some. Forgive me as this is a long one. I started out by thawing a Pork Butt I had in the freezer that I had purchased on sale for $.99 a lb. (7.93 lbs.) I unwrapped it and found there was still some ice crystals on it. (which is what I was hoping for to make cutting it easier) I cut it in half and deboned the other half. I proceeded to cut it all up into approximately 3/8” slices. I placed this into a large container, covered it and placed it into the fridge. I now gathered up the ingredients for the al pastor marinade. Here’s the recipe I used. (It’s a combination of several recipes I watched on YouTube) Not shown in the picture are the pineapple juice and the vinegar. 8 lb bone-in pork shoulder (deboned) 4 tablespoons achiote paste (I used 1 – 3.5 oz. brick) 2 guajillo peppers (seeded and re-hydrated) 2 ancho peppers (seeded and re-hydrated) 3 Chipotle peppers + all the adobo sauce from 1 - 7 oz. can 5 garlic cloves ¼ small white or yellow onion 1 oz. Piloncillo (substitute brown sugar if you can find it) 1 tbsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican) 1 tbsp. cumin 1 tbsp. salt 1 tbsp. pepper 1 tsp. cinnamon (preferably Mexican) 1 tsp, cloves ½ cup pineapple juice ½ cup white vinegar ¼ cup OO ¼ cup of the water from re-hydrating the peppers ¼ cup orange juice ¼ cup lime juice 1 pineapple, skinned and sliced into 1-inch (2 cm) rounds (for the spit/trompo) (Note: I only had some small guajillo chiles so I used 6 of them) Everybody went into the pool for a spin. I poured some marinade into the bottom of a very large bowl and then some pork slices. I repeated this process until all the pork was in the bowl and pour the rest of the marinade over the top. I then stirred it until everything had a nice coating. Now how will I cook this? Tacos al pastor is a dish developed in central Mexico that is based on shawarma spit grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants. It is traditionally cooked on a vertical spit known as a trompo. I don’t have such an exotic grill, so I had to improvise. I had found this indoor grill plate at a local thrift store for $2.17 and used it to create a vertical spit. I now peeled and sliced up the pineapple And started my vertical trompo stack adding a slice of pineapple and red onion after every 6 or 7 layers of meat. I place the stack in the center of my weber redhead with coals all around it. I then setup my craving station. Here it is after approximately 30 minutes. After approximately 75 minutes I removed the trompo and craved off the outer charred layer. (The char is an important part of the taste profile) I then placed the trompo back in the redhead to char the outside again. So pretty! I then repeated the process another 3 times. After I had trimmed off the outside 3 times I set up my taco cart errrr bar and started to assemble my street taco plate. Oh Yum! Here it is served up with a Modelo Especial. This was a little on the spicy side but oh so delicious! Thanks for looking.
  23. So one of my local markets had Rib Roasts on sale. I decided pick one up and cut some Ribeye Steaks off it. I unwrapped it and cut the twine holding on the bones and removed them. I cut 3 2” steaks and the end piece ended up at approximately 1.5”. (I chose the second one from the right to cook) I seasoned it with some Primo Chicago Stockyard Dry Rub. I wrapped this in plastic wrap and let it rest for 4 hours. I had made a fire using some almond wood in our fire pit. After it was nice and hot I placed the steak over the flames. After approximately 1.5 minutes I flipped it. After another 1.5 minutes I moved over to the other side of the grill an let it come up to an IT of 130 degrees. I then brought it inside and let it rest on the counter for 8 minutes. I then sliced it in half. I then sliced it into approximately 3/8” slices and plated it up with some asparagus, a baked potato and a Stone Coffee Milk Stout. It was delicious. Thanks for looking.
  24. The same day I cooked my Ribeye I also grilled up some chicken thighs for my wife and sister in-law. I had purchased a 1.5 cubic foot bag of almond wood. I pulled out 5 nice looking pieces to make the fire with. I lit up a small chimney of smallish lump pieces and dumped this into my fire pit to start up the almond logs. I then placed the almond logs on top and waited for them to start burning. While I was waiting I seasoned up some chicken thighs and some asparagus spears. I placed the potatoes on first. Then the asparagus over the fire for a while to give them a little head start. I then moved them back into the foil tray to finish up and placed on the thighs. Flipping the thighs every 3 to 4 minutes until they were at 160 it. No plated shots as I was eating the steak. Thanks for looking.
  25. I had a bunch of fries’ leftover from eating at a local burger place that I had saved so I decided to make a popular burrito here in San Diego. It is known as a California Burrito and typically has Carne Asada, French Fries, Frijoles, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Mexican Creama. (A 7-layer burrito if you want) Any way I started out making everything and was taking plenty of pics with my phone camera but somewhere in the middle of my cook I somehow (and I have no idea how) set my phone back to “Default” mode. Anyway, I don’t have access to those pics as of now and may never have access to them as they may end up being erased. So, I whipped out my Canon 70S and took the following pics at the end of the cook. I had purchased some Carne Asada and flour tortillas from the Mercado. I made up a bowl of Pico, A bowl of guacamole and some Mexican Rice. (No Pics) I then grilled up the Carne Asada. Here it is on the grill. I brought this in and diced it up into small squares. I then started to assemble the burrito. Started out with a nice layer of Mexican Cheese. Then the Carne Asada, Fries and some Pinquito beans. Then some Pico de Gallo, guacamole and some Mexican Creama. I rolled it up and placed it on the grill. Here it is done and ready to cut. And here are the plated shots with some spicy carrots, Mexican rice and a Modelo Negra. And a close-up shot. This was delicious! Thanks for looking.
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