Thursday, September 20, 2012

Black Iron Stuffed Peppers, ABT's and Pig Shots

I would like to thank my audience and especially my "regulars" for hanging with me for the past few years. I am kinda slow at times getting new stuff up on the blog but do want you to know that in the last 10 days, including this article, that I have posted 14 new articles. Sure hope that the good folks that visit  my page find something of interest in these articles. 

Ok, on with my latest cook......

My good neighbor brought me a bucket of fresh picked jalapeno’s along with some bell peppers a few days ago. I do love fresh peppers of any sort. Now, I needed to do something with them so I came up with this great cook.

This cook was done on my SS Hasty Bake Gourmet cooker over lump charcoal and it came out very good.

These are the ingredients for my Pig Shots or as sometimes called my Pork Shooters. 

Package of the Eckrich Kielbasa
Package of bacon
Block of cream cheese
Box of Sugar Twin Brown Sugar replacement (we are low carbing)
Pork Rub

For the folks that have never made these up, I will show my procedure for putting this great appetizer together.

Measure your bacon width and then cut your rope sausage pieces about 1/2 to 2/3rd the width of your wrapping bacon.  Next step is to cut your bacon length in half and wrap the sausage pieces and pin with a toothpick so that the extra width leaves a pocket on the top of the meat for the other ingredients. Just like the picture.

Place some cream cheese in that cavity on top of the meat and then some brown sugar.

Last step is to sprinkle on some  of your favorite rub and they are ready for the cooker.

We made up 52 of the jalapeno’s into ABT’s and got them ready for the cooker.

Next step was to prep our low carb Black Iron Stuffed Peppers.

To keep them low carb, we usually use a mix of both hamburger and sausage along with some chopped onions and shredded cheese in the mix. Can’t use any fillers like rice or oats. I top the peppers with my low carb Italian sauce.

To keep my Pig Shots from falling over on the cooking grid, I used a perforated pan under them. We are now prepped and ready for the cooker which had been heating up on the patio. 

I added a couple of wood smoke chunks and loaded the cooker with my treats. 

The Hasty Bake Gourmet out there doing it’s thing.

Later in the cook, the treats were starting to look good. Both my Pig Shots and the ABT’s are being cooked until the bacon is done to my liking. 

The Pig Shots just off the cooker along with some ABT’s.

The ABT’s just off the cooker and plated up.

Pig Shots plated for serving. Don’t them two plates look good?

My Black Iron Stuffed Peppers had to be cooked to about 165 internal because of the fresh meat so they took a few minutes longer. 

To serve, I cut the stuffed bell pepper in half and then plated it up with a small salad and some cheese chunks. 

A very nice low carb lunch. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Winding Creek Bluegrass Festival

A few weekends ago, we attended the Winding Creek Bluegrass Festival near the small town of Russiaville, Indiana which is about 10 miles West of Kokomo, Indiana. The event is held on a farm and started on a Friday afternoon August 24th and run thru Sunday afternoon August 26th. All the event grounds are nicely shaded except for the primitive RV camping area which was in a grass field. The tent area was also shaded. Many of the RV and most of the tent sites were within sight of the music stage and about all of them were within hearing range. Just a nice setup for a music event. 

Along with the three days of bluegrass music, they had workshops for stringed instruments, vendor booths, crafts and instruments for sale, performers booths, food and drink, and an antique tractor display. 

They has about 10-11 bands listed for the weekend and the advance ticket cost for this three day event was $ 40 dollars per person. This also included your camping as well. That sure seemed more than reasonable to us so I called them to see if I could use my generator and can we also bring the dog. Can we bring friends and camp close together. Can we come early to kinda beat the crowd...all was ok so we decided to go. Imagine, a 3 day weekend for two people with that much entertainment including all but our food for just $80 bucks?

Got our 5th wheel all loaded up and hitched to the truck and we were ready to go. 

We met our friends on the road and made it to the event site in about two hours. The hosts that met us were super friendly and quickly got us parked in the campground. 

We had a nice level site and quickly got the trailer all set up for the weekend. Our friends were camped next to us. 

These are some pictures of the camping area and all sites are close to the music stage and the other attractions. 

The music stage sits down low at the bottom of a slight hill and the people just set up their chairs on the side of the hill and the higher up you were on the hill made it easier to see over the people in front of you. Plenty of shade made this a nice setup.

The bluegrass bands were great, the facility was fine, the weather was great, the cost was right, and the hosts did every thing possible to make our stay perfect. 

Was one of the most enjoyable weekends we have had in a long time and we are looking forward to going back to this event next year. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pig Shots

I saw this Pig Shot appetizer on a cooking forum about a year ago and have seen it again a time or two under the name of "Pork Shooters" so I figured I had better give it a look.

Don't they look good? Also look like they would be easy to make and grill up on a charcoal grill.

These things are made from the Eckrich rope type of sausage. Might be the kielbasa, the standard smoked, maybe the all beef, or the turkey, a fellow can surely find one that suits him. Then you need some bacon strips, some brown sugar, cream cheese, and your favorite rub.

You need to cut some discs out of the sausage that are about 3/4" to about 1-1/4" wide depending on the width of your bacon. You want these discs about 1/2 the width of your bacon.

The bacon length should be cut in half  and wrapped around the disc and pinned with a toothpick so the bottom side is flush with the counter top leaving a shot glass looking piece.

Next step is to put some cream cheese into the shot glass like you see in the picture.

Then place some brown sugar (we use Sugar Twin to keep it low carb) on top of the cream cheese. Last step is to sprinkle it with your favorite rub.

Then you can grill, bake, smoke, or what ever to get them done...all you are doing is getting the bacon as done as you like it.

These things are great and are definitely being added to my list of easy to make appetizers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hasty Bake 10 Hour Fuse Burn

This fuse burn cook was done to just see how much time I could get out of a load of fuel running at about 225-250 degrees measured at the cooking grid with a standard load of food.

I started with 3 pork half loins each weighing about 4-5 pounds. I trimmed some of the heavier fat from the fat side and then sprinkled on a good spicy rub and they were ready for the grill.

Wife made up about 10 one third pound burgers and I also got out some of my homemade Texas Hot Links. I also did a full package of the bun length hot dogs, some chicken wings, and a small meat loaf which are not shown in this article.

I filled the charcoal basket with a full bag (11 pounds) of the all natural Wicked Good Bricketts and then placed some hickory chunks around the edges of the charcoal box. 

Charcoal box ready for the cooker.

Started the fire with a propane torch this time on the one side of the fuse. Let it run for about 40 minutes and loaded some of the meat. I also used the heat deflector to make this an indirect cook.

Picture shows the loins and burgers on the grill.

Burgers just off the grill.

The loins just off the grill at about 140 internal and this took about 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

My hot links.

The hot dogs.

I just kept adding and removing the meat until I got it all done and I was able to get a full 10 hours of cooking time at about 225 to 250 degrees measured at the cooking grids. This was also just using the intake and exhaust vents on the cooker to fine tune my cook.

Large Cook on my Char-Broil CB 940X

I did this cook back in August on my CB (Yugo) X over charcoal with a little hickory for smoke. I set the cooking grid up with about 1/3 of it direct and the other 2/3 rds indirect. I had several meats to cook and needed both direct and indirect for the cook. 

I started with 5 pounds of 28% flavor burger and Jan made up 16 burgers from the 5 pounds. Added salt and pepper.  Bout 1/3 pound each makes a nice small burger.

Since I needed a very hot fire at the start, I added a small amount of lump to the direct side of the cooker and then filled up a large Weber charcoal chimney with lump and after it was well lit, poured it into the cooker and added some smoke wood.

I like to put a good sear on my burgers and then finish them on the indirect side to about 165 degrees internal. 

There is my Yugo, De Soto, or maybe Edsel doing it’s thing. Real shame that this once  great cooker in no longer listed on Char-Broils website. 

Here are some of the other meat cooked on this round. Top left is a package and a half of the Eckrich Grillers, and right of it some bun size hotdogs. Top right plate has 4 strip steaks which will be used for my steak and mushroom hoogies. Bottom two plates are six big pork steaks. Not shown are about 22 of my very hot chicken wings.

My steaks are prepped with some Smokey Mountain steak rub. These 4 one inch steaks are seared about 2 minutes a side and they are done to medium rare and I took them off the cooker. 

Thats my burgers getting happy on the indirect side of the cooker. 

Next were the dogs and I like to put a little char on them. I followed the dogs with the Grillers. I love these things and use them for snacks. 

Steaks just off the grill.

Burgers looking good.

Jan’s dogs.

The Eckrich Grillers.

The pork steaks were prepped with my no-carb rub. I like them seared just like a beef steak and then slow cooked indirect for a couple hours. 

While my last pork steak was searing, I picked a few hot peppers out of my patio boxes and added them to the grill. 

My hot chicken wings were prepped with my no-carb rub and then I added mucho ground cayenne pepper. Just like about everything I cook over charcoal, I like to somewhat char it for that additional flavor. Nothing beats a hot charcoal fire licking at the bottom of my meats and veggies on the cooker for the most great flavor. 

I added a second raised grid in the cooker to make room for all the indirect items that I was cooking. 

Working the you can see, I am finishing up putting a little char on my wings and then placing them on the indirect side of the cooker. Pork steaks are still soaking up some smoke and heat. 

Chicken wings were sauced next with some Frank’s hot sauce mixed with some butter, some Splenda, and some ground cayenne pepper. 

The cooks treat and man they were good. 

The hot wings.

I cut up all four steaks for my special treat which I will fix at a later date. 

The pork steaks were sauced with my low carb sauce and then taken off the cooker. Really hard to beat a good pork steak dinner. 

Close up of the pork steak.