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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crispy Bacon Meatloaf cupcakes over Blue Cheese Smashed Yukons

What a beautiful day it has been.  I have made something this evening that is kind of a big deal...  Not really but it was damn good.  Started messing around with cupcake pans a few years ago.  They are wonderful vessels as Alton Brown would say.  The cupcake pan allows you to have a high crunch to bite ratio.  What will one need for this journey?

For the meatloaf!  I used ground turkey thigh, carrot, celery, onion, parsley, chopped crispy bacon, egg, pepper, salt, mustard, Worcester, smoked paprika, basil and cayenne.  Side note: use whatever you like.  Think buffalo chicken meatballs with a ranch dressing placed on a pretzel bun. Options are numerous.  BTW left out of the pic, breadcrumbs, ketchup and hot sauce.

Put some oil in a pan and chop the veges.  In this case carrot, celery and onion.  I believe they call this the trinity...  Sweat them out in the pan.  Throw in some salt, pepper or any seasoning you like.  Cool and place in large bowl.  Add turkey, bacon, egg, breadcrumbs, Worcester, mustard, cayenne and smoked paprika.  Mix up and place in a cupcake pan. 

350 oven for 25-30 mins.  Da Bears!

Mid-cook look!

Looks good right?  How did them potatoes get there?  Here's what you need.

Yukon potatoes, blue cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.  Chop potatoes and garlic and add to boiling salted water, cook till they are almost done.  Remove from heat and drain.  Add a few chunks of blue cheese to potatoes along with some milk and butter.  Smash them!  Next steps are optional.  One could just place potatoes on a plate and top with the cupcakes.  I like to take a few extra steps.  I slop some potatoes in a small ceramic dish (picked up @ target) then layer with blue cheese.  Place the cupcake in the middle and layer more potatoes around to cover the blue cheese.  Take some ketchup and hot sauce mix and paint on the top the the cupcake.  Broil on top rack till it looks good to you.

Eat, Drink and be Merry!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


It had been several months since the CODFATHER had joined us for dinner.  Didn't even realize how much he had been missed!  I can read your mind right now.  Who is this Codfather and how can I meet him?  He is a baked cod dish that is dye-no-mite and very easy to make.  Toss in super easy clean up and we have a winner weeknight meal here!  If you don't give this recipe a try you are just foolish!  I am not kidding you HAVE to try this.  What will one need:
Cod Fish -  8 oz a person or more
Mayo -  we use canola, it's good for you
lemons - 2
crackers - hand full
Parmesan - freshly grated
parsley - half a hand full chopped
crushed red pepper - cayenne

That there is a baking dish lined with foil.  The key to easy clean up!  Give it a quick spray with some cooking oil and place the fish skin side down.  Get yourself a bowl and throw a couple big globs of mayo in it.  Juice half a lemon in the mayo and give it a quick mix.  Next season the mayo mix with salt, pepper and cayenne.  We like it with a bit of heat at the end so I look for a nice red tint to the mix.  See pic below.  I tend to go by look and taste over measurements...

I then use my basting brush to coat the Cod with the spicy lemon mayo mix.

Now we take them crackers and crush them in a bowl.  Add some grated parmesan and chopped parsley then top the Cod.

Your oven needs to be preheated to 425.  I cook the Codfather for about 20 mins.  Cooking time will depend on how thick your cod is.  I sometimes use the ole fork test to see if the fish is done.  When a fork easily drops through the fillet its done in my book! 
Introducing for the first time here on the enternet....  The CODFATHER!!!!!

We went really light for this dinner and just served with a salad but we often have broccoli and rice as sides.  Also, not yo mammas brussel sprouts are a nice sidekick to the CodFather.  I will have to show the how-to on the sprouts soon...  One more look at the CodFather!

  FYI, wine and beer pair really really well with this dish!  Enjoy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Smoked Wings of a Chicken

Good evening - What a wonderful summer it has been.  My first fathers day will always be one to remember.  That little girl is so amazing.  On top of that she and her mom are wonderful gift givers!  Welcome to the family Mr. Smoke Hollow...
Before I get started with the wings I wanted to share a link that shows just how simple it is to turn your gas grill into a smoker. 
If you are as lucky as I am to have a awesome wife and daughter then you may already have a smoker.  If not and you like smoked foods do yourself a favor and go buy one!  They make them for just about every budget. 
On to the main event!  The very first thing you need to do is get a beverage.  Don't skip this step because smoking foods can take a long time and we need to stay hydrated.  I grabbed a beer this particular day because well I like beer.  Gather some chicken wings and give them a quick rinse.  After the shower I put them between some paper towels to dry them a bit.  The next step is key.  Poke holes in the wings.  I use a kabob stick but a fork should work too.  The holes will allow your seasoning and smoke to penetrate the skin!
Next we season.  We used a jerk rub this time and I have to say that they have been my favorite so far.  Toss the wings in a large zip lock bag and add whatever rub you like and shake baby shake.  Throw them in the fridge so you can get the smoker ready.  I soak my wood chips for an hour or so then add them to the smoker and start the fire.  I usually smoke with hickory but use what you want.  Once we hit 220 or so add them to the smoker and grab another beverage.  Here is a look before they enter the smoker. 

Two hours later when we open the door what should we see??

Here is a close up of what I am looking for!

One could stop here and start slamming some wings but I like to blast them on a hot grill for a few mins to finish them off!

That's it.  Quick recap:  Chicken wings rinsed, poked, rubbed, smoked then grilled!  I know it sounds like a lot for wings but give it a try I promise they will be some of the best you have ever had.  If not, you messed something up! :)  Serve with blue cheese and celery or whatever you like...