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    • By Smokehowze
      Pasta Carbonara - A New Year's  Eve Meal Treat
      One of the great things when you have taught your children how to cook and they grow up and independently polish their culinary skills is that they will come home and cook for us parents.  Daughter and son together fixed this wonderful pasta carbonara for Mrs. Smokehowze and me last night for the family New Year ’s Eve meal.
      They made homemade hand rolled and cut pasta, used some great rolled pancetta with peppercorns, fresh Parmigiano–Reggiano  grated from a wheel wedge of high end cheese, olive oil from a friend of mines family grove in Italy and built the traditional carbonara sauce to pull it all together. For some this is an intimidating meal to prepare, but they had no reservations about it at all.
      They hit each note of the symphony exactly right and the result was a fantastically rich and fulfilling meal, quite fitting to bring in the New Year and ring out the old.
      A Rich Wonderful Dish

      Rolling the Pasta

      Hand Cutting the Noodles

      Fresh Pasta Ready for the Boiling Water

      Pasta Almost Done for Next Phase

      The Parmagiano-Reggiano

      Adding the Egg Yolks,Olive Oil, Cheese, Parsley and Seasoning

      The Pancetta -- the onions and garlic were sauteed right after in the same pan.

      The Dish is Coming Together - A little butter never hurts in the dish.

      Almost Done

      Dinner is Served!

      Don't Forget Some Wine with this Pasta.

      So to paraphrase an old expression… Fix your kids a meal and they eat you out of house and home, teach them to cook and they fix you a great meal. 
    • By Smokehowze
      Pork Loin Roast Redux (Figs and Jalapeno Glazed)
      While prospecting the other day in the basement freezer for something to cook without having to go to the store, a couple of cryo-vac Costco pork roasts were discovered.  Bingo!  
      Since figs on the tree were ripe and I had a batch of fermented jalapenos finishing up, I cooked these using this recipe for the glaze.   See:  http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/8274-fig-preserves-and-fermented-jalapeno-peppers-pork-roast-glaze/?p=82285
      And the result -  another check the box for a great stress free meal on the Kamado.  The small white dish is some of the fig/jalapeno glaze reserved as an accompaniment for the pork.

      On Big(Red)Joe at 375 degrees indirect with Cherry Wood - wasn't timing it but probably about 1H20 for the cook.

      A Beautiful Picture of a Perfect Cook – to 145/150 degrees internal.  Love lean but still juicy pork!  Time to get slicing.

    • By Smokehowze
      Pork Sirloin Tip Roast and Spicy Eggplant Cooked Kamado Style with Black Rice Side Dish
      This was an easy and quick cook done on Big(Red) Joe using the main cooking grid and the expansion rack.
      The Prep
      Two pork sirloin tip roasts (about 2.5 lbs each from a Costco 4 pack) were prepared by simply rinsing and drying, then rubbing with a light coat of a Mediterranean oil blend (olive, grapeseed, canola).
      I utilized a different seasoning approach -- I took about 8 garlic toes and minced then with a knife and then added a bit of salt and using a fork ground the garlic into a paste.   Lightly scored the roasts in a wide spaced diagonal cross hatch all the way around and then rubbed the meat with the garlic paste working it into the scoring and coating the surface.   Finished with a liberal sprinkling of some coarse ground black pepper.    Let the seasoned meat sit out and come to room temperature while Big(Red)Joe got his act together.
      The accompanying main dish was a couple of nice large eggplants peeled and cut into medium sized pieces.  Added to that was some Vidalia onion and yellow onions in medium pieces and some chopped green bell pepper and a handful of rough cut garlic.  Tossed with some grapeseed oil.   Poured over the eggplant and them mixed  were 2 cans of San Marcos red chipotle salsa (the spicy secret here!).  Foiled an 18 inch round low sided pizza pan for the eggplant cooking dish.   Make sure to well oil the foil before adding the veggies to prevent sticking during the cook.
      Additionally, we had some leftover plain black rice.  While the food was cooking in Joe, on the stove I added a bit of butter to a sauté pan and a few chopped green onions.   Cook at low heat to soften the onions.   Add some Better than Bouillon chicken base and a bit of water to make a very highly flavored sauce.  Fold in the black rice and heated it through gently during the meat cook.  Right before serving add chopped parsley.  Makes a great dish!
      The Main Cook
      Big Joe was set up for indirect cooking at around 325 to 350 or so.  Meat was put on main grid and the eggplant on the round tray on the top of the expansion rack. 
      After a short while I realized the large round tray on the top of the expansion rack was restricting air flow and causing the temps on the main grill to rise significantly (like to 450 degrees) and the veggies to only be at 300 degrees .  So I swapped the veggies to the main grid and put the roasts on the expansion rack.  Readjusted the air vents and all was well.
      Cooked the roasts and veggies for about 1H20-1H30 minutes until the meat was at 150 internal.  Make sure to gently stir the eggplant mix around on the tray as the extra heat coming around the deflector will cook them more on the outside of the pan than in the middle.   Continue to cook the eggplant until soft while the roasts are resting a bit. You can even put the eggplant on ahead to ensure it is done at the same time as the meat.
      The Pictures
      Time to Eat!

      Seasoning the  Pork Sirloin Tip Roasts  – Garlic (lots!), Salt and Pepper

      Eggplant Dish Being Fixed

      Eggplant Mix and the Meat Ready for Big(Red)Joe

      Beginning the Cook in Big(Red)Joe
      (As noted in the text  - I shortly swapped the meat to the expansion rack and the eggplant onto the main grate)

      One Roast is Ready and Sliced for Serving (Tender, and Juicy)

      One Roast Saved for a Later Meal

      The Finished Eggplant  (it was really good tasting with the chipotle seasoning)

      The Black Rice Side Dish

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