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    • By DerHusker
      So I entered a pie contest and wanted to share my entry over here.
      Here are most of the ingredients.

      Made up some graham cracker crust. After smearing my CI pie pan with some butter flavored Crisco I press in the crust.

      Made up a bacon weave and placed it on the kamado.

      Because I couldn’t flip the weave I placed my bacon press on the burner for 10 minutes. After it’s smoking hot I placed it on top of the weave.

      While that cooks I prep my jalapeños.

      On the grill they go for 15 minutes along with the pie crust for 7 minutes at 350.

      After the weave is cooked I place it in the bottom of the pie crust.

      Then the smoked jalapeño rings and the cream cheese pie filling.

      Now the pie goes into the kamado for 40 minutes at 350.

      Here is the result.

      After letting it cool to room temp and then in the fridge I spread on the Raspberry Jalapeño topping.

      And decorate.

      Plated shots.

      And this was my entry photo.

    • By Smokehowze
      Fermented Jalapenos & Fermented Cucumbers
      Market had a 5 lb bag of beautiful jalapenos last weekend and then today some very nice Kirby cucumbers in the bin.
      Time for fermenting.   Get out the half-gallon jars. 
      Jalapenos were put up a week ago as slices with seeds and as halves without seeds.  A 2.5% brine (non-chlorinated water/canning salt) plus commercial starter culture.  Garlic and onion for added flavor. They are already starting to get good to eat.

      4 lbs of Cucumbers were placed in 3.5% brine plus starter culture today. The pickles should be ready in a few weeks depending on ambient temperature.
      The "whole pickles" batch are a heavy garlic and dill flavoring with addition of pickling spices mix, whole peppercorns and onion.  The "quartered pickles" will be a "hot & spicy"  batch using brine, starter culture, dill, bit of garlic and onion, whole peppercorns and dried red pepper flakes.  
      Cucumbers have oak leaves added to the jars so the tannin will keep the pickles firm.  

      The "mesh"  you see in the jars is food grade fiberglass grilling mat that I cut into appropriate size circles that I use to keep the items from floating out of the brine.  These mesh circles can be tucked under the jar shoulder and/or weighed down with a glass weight if needed.  This method is the best of all the ideas I have tried.  It popped into my head sometime back when I saw the grilling mat in my supplies cabinet. Easy to place and simple to remove to get to the product when its snacking time.   Items must be submerged to avoid spoilage.
      The airlock lids are homemade using plastic wide mouth jar lids, a carefully drilled 3/8 inch hole to avoid splitting the plastic, and a commonly available 3/8 inch rubber grommet for the airlock stem.  Simple, easy to make and way cheaper than the commercial alternatives.
      When the ferment has reached the right point of pickling flavor ,in natural sourness and in the overall ferment, the jars will go in the fridge for the longer term storage to essentially (but not totally) stop the ferment.
    • By Smokehowze
      Homemade New Orleans Creole Cream Cheese & Ice Cream
      Heading into this 4th of July I had been thinking about traditions growing up in New Orleans and recalled creole cream cheese ice cream. Now the coincidence here is that I was at Costco on July 2 and they had evidently overstocked on many pallets of whole milk (sell date 5 July) and were selling it at 97 cents a gallon. The light bulb in my head went so bright it burned out instantly. 5 gallons went in the buggy. Two at least for making creole cream cheese and the creole cream cheese ice cream for the 4th of July. The other gallons are planned for homemade mozzarella and ricotta.
      I used Chef John Folse’s recipe for the New Orleans creole cream cheese and Chef Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for the ice cream as to me his ice cream recipe seemed closest to what I recall was sold by the stores in my youth.
      The Creole Cream Cheese Result

      The Ice Cream Result

      The flavor of the cream cheese and that of the ice cream were what I remember – so this “cook” was a true success – I have my breakfast and dessert treats for just a small amount of time and effort.
      The ice cream alone is worth doing this if you have never had it.
      Creole Cream Cheese is a farmer style cheese similar in fashion to a combination of cottage cheese and sour cream with a mild, slightly tart, slightly sweet taste. Creole Cream Cheese used to be widely available in New Orleans and is almost never found outside Louisiana. As the years have passed it became harder to find, and today is virtually non-existent as a commercial product. Sometimes it can be found as an artisan product. Here is the wiki: ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_cream_cheese )
      It’s a soft cheese generally sold in a small “cottage cheese style container” covered with cream or half & half. Usually eaten as a breakfast treat, sprinkled with sugar.
      When I was growing up a half of a cream cheese (which at the time came covered with cream) with sugar added and some buttered toasted French bread (leftover from dinner the night before) and a cup of coffee & chicory was a breakfast staple and is still one of my all-time breakfast treats. As a kid in those days we were always active and outside – sometimes not showing up at home until dinner time- so the health issues today that might stem from such a breakfast in today’ s times were a non-issue.
      Making the Creole Cream Cheese
      The Creole Cream Cheese recipe is from John Folse ( http://www.jfolse.com/recipes/misc/misc01.htm ). It is so simple to do.
      Also see below for info about one of his books that I highly recommend.
      2 gallons skim milk (I used whole milk) 1/2 quart buttermilk 1/2 rennet tablet (available at cheese specialty stores) Half & Half optional I estimate the 2 gallons made 5 - 6 cups of cream cheese. METHOD:
      Combine milk, buttermilk, and the ½ rennet tablet (I crushed it) in a stainless steel pot. Using a thermometer, bring the temperature of the milk to 80 degrees, stirring constantly and hold for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover tightly and allow to sit at least 3 hours. Drain off the whey (liquid remaining after the curds are formed) discarding this liquid. Pack the solids in 8-ounce portions topping with equal parts of half and half cream.
      Warming the Milk

      Note: I let mine sit for 4+ hours. I drained the majority of the cream cheese in a plastic colander that has smaller holes and set it in a large metal bowl covered in the fridge, carefully removing the curds from the 8 quart stainless pot with a large spoon. That worked well. The curd will further solidify and form into a soft unified block.
      Curd is Formed (of course I had to sample it)

      Some went into two cream cheese moulds that have come to me in the family that belonged to my grandmother. This is after they drained and firmed up in the fridge. In hindsight I should have filled them and compressed them a bit. Not an issue though.
      Grandmother’s Cream Cheese Moulds

      When I considered the cream cheese fully drained I put it in a container and covered it with half & half. Store in the fridge..
      Making the Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream
      INGREDIENTS (this makes 1 ½ quarts):
      2 1/2 cups Creole cream cheese 1 1/4 cups whole milk 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 3/4 - 1 cup sugar (your preference – use ¾ cup and taste the mixture) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract The Creole Cheam Cheese Ice Cream is an adaptation of an Emeril Lagasse Recipe. (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/frozen-creole-cream-cheese-recipe.html)
      The Ice Cream Fixings

      Into a large bowl, add the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and hand whisk well to dissolve the sugar. Add the creole cream cheese and hand whisk to fully incorporate and break up the curd.
      The Ice Cream Base

      Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Note that the mixture will not freeze like ice cream, but instead will have a lighter, more slushy consistency. Don't worry, it will set up after some time in the freezer.)
      In the Freezer Machine (I let it run for 35 minutes in this unit where you freeze the machine bowl overnight)

      Putting Ice Cream in a Bowl to Temper in the Freezer (half a day is good overnight is better - if you can wait that long)

      The Ice Cream is Ready

      Lagniappe: John Folse - The-Encyclopedia-Cajun-Creole-Cuisine
      Speaking of John Folse... This book, which I truly enjoy being a Louisiana boy, is well worth the price. It is a 12.5 by 10.5 x 2 in volume that weighs almost 10 lbs. If you should buy one get the hardcover version. It makes a very nice coffee table book also.
      “Chef Folse's seventh cookbook is the authoritative collection on Louisiana's culture and cuisine. The book features more than 850 full-color pages, dynamic historical Louisiana photographs and more than 700 recipes. You will not only find step-by-step directions to preparing everything from a roux to a cochon de lait, but you will also learn about the history behind these recipes. Cajun and Creole cuisine was influenced by seven nations that settled Louisiana, from the Native Americans to the Italian immigrants of the 1800s. Learn about the significant contributions each culture made-okra seeds carried here by African slaves, classic French recipes recalled by the Creoles, the sausage-making skills of the Germans and more. Relive the adventure and romance that shaped Louisiana, and recreate the recipes enjoyed in Cajun cabins, plantation kitchens and New Orleans restaurants. Chef Folse has hand picked the recipes for each chapter to ensure the very best of seafood, game, meat, poultry, vegetables, salads, appetizers, drinks and desserts are represented. From the traditional to the truly unique, you will develop a new understanding and love of Cajun and Creole cuisine. The Encyclopedia would make a perfect gift or simply a treasured addition to your own cookbook library.”
    • By Dub
      Schoolday sliders for an ever-hungry kid......also happy birthday to @jrow17 !!!
      I hope you are getting some of this insanely great weather and some time off to enjoy hanging with your family.  
      Had a 3:30pm turn in time for this cook.   
      Sounds dumb to put time limits on grilling.....but, for me it's a good practice.   
      I tend to wander and delay.  
      I do, however, subscribe to the "serve no BBQ before it's time" motto.
      I need to invest in a way to hold my BBQ at set temps......so I can cook & complete earlier and be ready & waiting  for my tribe......vs.   them waiting on me.
      I did succeed in one important aspect of today's cook........My Son walked in the door from school this afternoon and said, "What time are the burgers gonna be ready ?".
      He had no idea what I was making other than the clue of the nasal assault that hit him in the driveway.   He knew that someone nearby was grilling.....what they were grilling........and a good idea who the culprit was.
      Also made one of his favorite side dishes to go with  them.  I had to.....since I bombed on it last time.      NOTE:     If you use dried red peppers in anything.......know that they may be crunchy in the end result.  (My left-field observation).
      One delay was that I'd made an error in the store earlier.
      Seems I'd not carefully examined what I grabbed.
      Today's blanket statement:   Not all "Hawaiian-type bread is the same thing as King's Hawaiian".    Seems that folks at SL use very, very similar colors and markings as the real-deal King's Hawaiian.   

      Not only was the flavor not as good as the original.....but these had to be sliced, too.   

      Side dish made ready first:


      1/2 sweet onion finely diced and added to the mix
      This was poured over the top of everything else:

      Onto the grill:


      Slider time:
      4 lbs of 73/27 ground beef......

      Two big jalapeños: 


      One large sweet onion.....1/2 in the sliders.......1/2 went in the mac'n'cheese.

      1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs &  1/2 cup Don's Seasoning Delight.






      Melted butter & stuff on the tops......homebrew BBQ sauce on the bottoms:

      Bacon......gotta have it !

      Sharp cheddar & dill pickle slices added:

      Lids in place and wrapped in foil and tossed on the grill for  a few minutes to toast-melt everything.



      Son ate two of these plates and asked if there was dessert ?

      Music enjoyed for this cook was these two albums:


      A fairly easy cook that could be easily doubled for a larger group.   The slider amount could easily be doubled to match up with the grilled mac'n'cheese amount cooked today.
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