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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Feta Cheese Spread

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This is going to be a short post… first, I’m not entirely awake yet, and second, this is a pretty simple recipe. It’s also kind of a pre-post for a roasted vegetable panini that I’ll post in a few days, but I wanted separate recipes since this is a really tasty spread.

Anyway, start with feta cheese, sour cream, fresh dill, kosher salt (I’m using a roasted tomato salt, hence the red, but kosher is fine), a diced garlic clove, and a bit of lemon juice.
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Homemade BBQ Sauce, and my 50th post!

For my 50th post on here, I wanted to do give you all something special. For the last few years, the single best thing that everyone has wanted repeatedly has been my homemade bbq sauce. Whether it’s on pulled pork, oven baked ribs, or on top of burgers with bacon, it’s quite simply the best bbq sauce I’ve had. After finally tweaking it enough, I present it here for you. Thanks for your continued support, and I look forward to cooking many more delicious experiments for everyone out there.

Start by roasting some peppers. Jalapenos, serranos, and anaheim, to be specific. Broil on the top rack of an oven until blackened.

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Put in a small bowl and cover tightly with foil (or steam in a plastic bag, but I’ve had the heat of the peppers melt the bag before) to loosen the skins. Wait 15 minutes, then peel the skins off. You don’t need to get ALL of the skins, just most of them, especially the blackened bits.

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Puree in a blender along with the garlic, and to make it more liquid, 1 cup of the ketchup.

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Add the contents of the blender, the remaining ketchup, and everything else into a stockpot. Stir really well, because the brown sugar will want to sit on the bottom and burn. Heat to a boil on medium, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours until the color darkens and becomes thicker.

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Dustin’s “Mad for BBQ” BBQ Sauce:

3 jalapeno peppers
1 serrano pepper
1/2 poblano or 1 anaheim pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, with 2 tsp adobo sauce
4 cloves garlic
7 cups ketchup
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp worchestershire

Preheat oven on broil.

Broil peppers on the top rack until skins start to blacken. Remove and place in a covered bowl or plastic bag (be careful not to melt the bag) to steam and loosen the skins. Wait 15 minutes. Remove skins and ends of peppers, but leave the seeds in (remove if you prefer a milder bbq sauce).

Puree peppers, garlic, and 1 cup of ketchup in a blender.

Bring all ingredients including pepper puree to a simmer over medium heat in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours, or until sauce darkens and becomes thick.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Sauces, pastes, etc

 

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Pulled pork on fried polenta squares

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Last night I went to an appetizer party, and thought I’d create a new dish to take along. I wanted to feature my bbq sauce (recipe coming on Tuesday), but thought ribs would be a bit messy, so decided on pulled pork. I don’t cook with polenta much, and want to, so I decided to search up a good recipe. The one I settled on was from food blog Running to the Kitchen, and it’s a fantastic one. People raved about it. Sadly, I can’t claim credit, though I did add extra butter and cheese. Mmmm butter and cheese. I did a double batch of the polenta recipe I’m putting here, because the party was for 50, and the pulled pork makes so much. Feel free to save the pork for other uses (pulled pork panini with smoked cheddar, anyone?), or make a double batch of the polenta like I did. Anyway, let’s get started cooking!

Start by taking a pork butt (boston butt, pork shoulder), preferably large (6 lb) and bone in, and season it with your favorite bbq rub. Let sit an hour to form a crust, then cook for 10 hours in a crock pot on low.

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Drain off all the fat, shred pork in a bowl (discarding any remaining fatty bits and the bone), and mix with 1 quart bbq sauce (or less, if you have a smaller piece of meat, or like less sauce).

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Appetizer/Snack, Entree

 

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Gluten-Free Granola

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Eating healthy is difficult when you travel, and especially so if you’re on a restricted diet. A friend of mine who has to avoid gluten was going out of town, so I made her a batch of gluten free granola. As is typical for my house, I did a double batch, which is why the quantities you’ll see here are so much larger than what you might see from this recipe.

Start by mixing together gluten free rolled oats, chopped almonds (or substitute other mixed nuts), pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds in a roasting pan. I used to use a baking sheet, but this works much better for stirring and not spilling any into your oven or on the floor.

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Next add in ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and kosher salt.

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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Appetizer/Snack, Healthy

 

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Tangy Sauteed Cabbage

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Well, St. Patrick’s Day is over. Time for leftover corned beef sandwiches, and nursing hangovers. Well, no hangover this year, but we did make an awful lot of great food. One very pleasant surprise was this tangy cabbage recipe that I tried, and will definitely be making again soon.

Start by sauteing some onions in olive oil in a dutch oven or large skillet. You’ll notice there isn’t much onion, and they’re actually sliced pearl onions, due to a lack of foresight in checking the quality of my onions before starting cooking.

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Once the onions have started to soften, add in garlic. We can’t cook onions without garlic!

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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Healthy, Vegetable

 

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Chicken Pot Pies

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My friend Denise makes amazing pot pies. I occasionally pull them out as emergency I-don’t-want-to-cook food, and have had a number of requests for the recipes. So with Denise’s help, here it is. Also, the filling makes quite a bit. We did a double batch when I took these photos, and had to do multiple batches of crust to make all the pies. So I’m afraid that the dough and the filling amounts don’t match, but trust me, you’ll WANT extra of these pies. Speaking of which, I think I need to go get one myself for lunch…

First, we’ll make the crust dough. In a large bowl, combine butter, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Cut together with a pastry blender until the butter is in small crumbs.

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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Entree

 

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Turkey Taco Casserole

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I always try to keep a balance, in my life and on this blog, of healthy and indulgent. I’ll post apple cranberry crisps one day and chocolate gingersnap tarts the next, or rich and creamy macaroni and cheese but balance it with a winter ribollita soup. So since I just posted incredibly chocolaty PMS Cookies a few days ago, today I’m giving you all a healthy turkey casserole. Which, as it happens, is going to be my lunch today as well.

Start by browning turkey in a large skillet, draining off any excess fat when browned.

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Add a small can of spicy v-8 and some taco seasoning, then mix thoroughly and cook a bit longer.

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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in Entree, Healthy

 

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Cooking Madly

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Salt and Serenity

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