At work the Friday before the Super Bowl, we ended up having a chili cook-off contest for our department. The entry fee was $5.00 and first prize was $70.00 plus a bunch of other misc stuff (small trophy, pizza party for your team, etc.) There ended up being over 30 entries for the contest, and the types of chili entered by competitors were all over the board (white chili, vegetarian chili, wild game chili, extra tomato chili, etc.) After a few weeks of back and forth conversations with JRR to hash out a recipe, here was the chili that I entered into the contest. This recipe didn’t make the top three (and they only listed the top three finishers.) But as the VP that sits next to me kidded, that maybe I got 4th place. So enjoy this recipe for 4th Place Chili: Continue reading
I just got the new Penzeys spice catalog in the mail a few weeks back, and inside the catalog was a recipe for jambalaya. And since it’s still cold and snowing outside, why not put a little something hot in my stomach.
So starting with the recipe in the Penzeys catalog, along with a bunch of Emeril’s jambalaya recipes off of the Food Network website. Here is the recipe that I came up with for jambalaya:
- 2 TB Olive Oil
- 14 oz andouille sausage, cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ rounds (basically one whole grocery store package)
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Bobby Flay 16-spice Poultry Rub (see side notes)
- 1 tsp. Thyme, dried
- 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 2 cups un-cooked long grain white rice
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 – 14.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Into a Dutch oven add the olive oil and sausage, cooking the sausage into browned. Then add in the onions and bell pepper and cook until both have soften, while also scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Once the onions have become translucent add the garlic, spice mix, thyme, red pepper flakes and rice, cooking for about a minute to wake up the spices. Finally add all the remaining ingredients and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and has cooked through, which will be about 20-30 mins.
- The bobby flay spice mix gave the jambalaya a weird, almost sweet cinnamon smell/taste. So this is one spice blend that I wouldn’t be using again to make jambalaya.
- I think that I’m going to make my own andouille for the next batch of jambalaya. Since the andouille that I got at the grocery was very ho hum for taste.
- Use low heat (On an electric range, #5 while cooking the sausage, onion and green pepper; #8 to bring to boil; #1 to simmer mixture.)
- I actually stopped by Penzeys this week to get some spices to make a batch of chili for my workplace chili cook-off this week. So I was able to get my free jar of their new and improved cajun spice blend. So I’ll be swapping out the Bobby Flay spice mix for this stuff the next time that I make jambalaya.
I needed something different on my sandwich for lunch, so I started to search around the fridge for some items that could be re-purposed for a sandwich. And for some reason yesterday my mind started to wander into thinking about charcuterie and sous vide (don’t ask.) When I started to think about this jar of olives in my fridge. It might have had something to due with my last two uses of olives being for a bloody mary and on a vegetarian pizza, that I really wanted to jazz up how I use olives. So digging into my memory banks, I started to think about what kind of sandwiches have olives inside. And the only thing that i could think of was a po’boy. Since I really didn’t want to make a po’boy, nor did I even have all the ingredients for a po’boy, I drifted into making a tapenade instead. Continue reading
I ended up getting “The Carbonator” cap from my LHBS to test out making my own pop. With the carbonator cap and a bottle of Torani syrup from Cost Plus World Market I was off and running in trying to make my own pop. At first I thought that it was going to be easy to replicate something like the old defunked New York Seltzer that I had as a kid. But after a couple of months and plenty of failed experiments, I’m finally starting to get close to a light but sweet flavor profile for a homemade pop. Continue reading
After I copied down JRR’s recipe in the comments section of the final garden harvest pictures. Here was the recipe that I came up with:
-1lb 1.5 oz of purple cabbage, cored and thinly shreaded (all the purple cabbage that was harvested)
-4 cloves of minced garlic
-half of a white medium onion (the other half was used in the jalapeno hot sauce recipe)
-2 tsp rendered and solidified bacon fat
-1 TB soy sauce
-1/2 cup Homebrew IPA
-4 strips of pre-cooked bacon, chopped into bits
-Pinch Red pepper flakes
-Salt & pepper to taste
In a sauteuse, cook the onions & garlic in the bacon fat until they start to soften, then add all the cabbage to the sauteuse. I then tossed the cabbage for a couple of minutes to coat in the bacon fat. Next I added the soy sauce & beer, put on the cover and let it steam for about 20 mins on medium/medium low heat. After the steaming is done, I turned up the heat to medium high/high to reduce the liquid. Finally just before removing the pan from the burner I added in the bacon, red pepper flakes and salt/pepper. BAM!
When I tasted the final product on my dinner plate, the thing that I noticed was that it needed a little bit of sweetness. So for next time, instead of using an IPA for the liquid. I’ll trying adding some sort of sweet wine instead, since it only needed a little bit of sweetness to balance out the soy sauce.
Please excuse all the ping-backs, it was just one of those things that happened.
I really like the jalapeno version of McIlhenny Tabasco sauce, more so then the original version. My favorite use of Green Tabasco is on scrambled eggs (now surpassing ketchup.) But it is also great as a condiment on a wide spectrum of Mexican inspired dishes, as you would expect it to be. But being the mad cooking scientist that I am, I’ve been tossing around the idea of trying to make my own version of that oh so delicious green hot sauce. With a tip of the hat to JRR for sending me the link to this hot sauce recipe from Tyler Florence over at Food Network, I was off and running. Here is my adaptation of Tyler’s recipe: Continue reading
Man was I in the mood to have a plate of nachos for dinner a couple of weeks back. Yeah I said it, nachos for dinner. So basically I went though my fridge, and anything that looked like it might go on top of a plate of nachos, was used for these nachos(which included a lot of leftovers from earlier in the week). So here was what I ended up using for these nachos from the bottom up: Continue reading
I don’t understand what people see in the mayo version of chicken salad; you know what I’m talking about, crap like this! Something about “normal” chicken salad just makes me wonder. It doesn’t even look appetizing to me, just a big white pile of mush. Kind of like American style potato salad, which doesn’t hold a candle to warm German style potato salad. But that is a story for another time. Personally I’m not a big salad fan to begin with, due to a couple of bad personal experiences. But I haven’t written off salad completely, it just makes me pickier about the salads that I do eat. Continue reading
Some pics of the crumb of the ciabatta. And making some cheesy garlic bread with a ciabatta roll and some smoked provolone.