All posts by Foster Johnson

Black-eye Peas for Good Luck in any New Year

I must admit I have always been kinda lazy when it comes to making peas and beans. Only because of task of cleaning them and soaking them overnight.

This time around I researched a new method that quickens that process and has them ready to soften and absorb flavor with just a few hours of cooking. First my recipe.

  • 1 pound of Black-eye peas
  • 1/2 of a Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoned pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 4 Cloves of fresh garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 Kielbasa sausage cut into bite sized discs. I browned 1/2 of them in a hot skillet and left the other half alone adding them in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • 4 slices of pickled Deli-sliced Jalapeno peppers (tamed or mild) chopped lightly
  • 2 Ham Hocks with the skin removed

Fast Soaking

Sort the peas to clean out any non pea elements. Rinse them and place them in a large pot. Add 8 cups of hot water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the peas and rinse them again.

Cooking

Brown the sides of 1/2 of the Kielbasa sausage in a hot skillet. Drain any excess fat.

Add 6 cups of hot water to the peas. Add all the remaining ingredients. Reserve 1/2 of the Kielbasa for adding in the last twenty minutes.

Cook for 1 – 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage and Cocktail Weenies. What’s not to Love?

Chef Carl Binus “The Duke” was out west for New Year’s Eve 2019 festivities. We hit the night spots and ended 2018 at a huge party at Union Station. So what are two hungry bachelors ready for on New Year’s Day? We decided to assemble what is considered a good luck meal, based on a tradition that goes way back. I’m pretty sure it originates from the deep south.

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The traditional Southern and Soul food of black-eyed peas, mustard greens and pork cutlets. Just to add a nod to old Germany (where both of us started on the journey to become decent cooks) we came up with a cabbage dish with a uniquely party style accoutrement known as the cocktail weenie. Perhaps a bit for the humor yes. But the flavor and finished dish was outstanding.

This recipe is going in my Good Eating Pantheon of excellent side dishes for grilled beef and pork. It goes a little something like this.

  • 1 Large head of Cabbage cut into slices about 1/2″ thick
  • 1 package of fully cooked Cocktail Smokies. Ours were from Kroger.
  • 3 Cups of water
  • 8 Wax Peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama. Cajun seasoning by Walker & Sons (SlapYaMama.com)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion diced from 1/4″ slices
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Chef Duke likes to do it like this…

First, season one half of the cabbage with Cayenne Pepper. Dust the cabbage with a sprinkling of Slap Ya Mama. Lay a layer of onion pieces. Place another layer of chopped Wax Peppers. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for a few hours. Take the other half of the cabbage and add to boiling water (3 cups) in a large Dutch Oven or pot. If you like it spicy hot and more salty, sprinkle this first layer with cayenne and a bit of Slap Ya Mama.

Reduce to simmer. At about 20 minutes and when the first layer begins to reduce, place the remaining cabbage into the pot and cook for another 20 minutes. Add water if the reduction has allowed the tops to become dry. Add Vinegar and salt and pepper. Cook for another 20 minutes or until all the cabbage leaves are glassy and a darker green. Stir. Let rest while all the flavor infuses itself into the cabbage.

Serve it up hot and shout to the New Year, “Oooooh That’s Good!”

Drunken Ears

(Corn on the Cob, Rolled in Butter and Cooked in Beer)
This is a recipe that works equally well on the grill or in a smoker. The use of an aluminum foil boat is the key to keeping the corn tender, and will protect it from over cooking.

  • 6-12 Frozen Ears of Corn on the Cob.
  • 6-12 medium cooked strips of Bacon (1 for each corn boat)If you’re afraid of uncooked bacon, cook it for 10 minutes in a skillet on low, long enough to cook it through, but not so long that it becomes brittle.The Rolling Sauce…
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1-2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire

Top with…

  • an aromatic Beer
  • Chili Powder (sprinkle a little on top of each ear, after the boats are ready).
  • Pepper to taste

At the market, look in the frozen food section and grab a bag of pre-cut frozen corn on the cob. If you want to use fresh corn, shuck it and chill it for an hour or two. Make an aluminum boat with the sides tall enough to hold the corn and allow you to nearly cover it with the beer.

Add all the seasonings to the melted butter and mix well in a shallow bowl or cooking dish. Take the frozen corn and roll it 4 to 6 times in the mixture. The frozen corn will solidify the butter and create a solid coating on each ear of corn.

Place in aluminum boats. Place a strip of bacon on top of each ear. Place the corn boats on the grill. Fill each boat to the 3/4 point with beer. Be careful you don’t “wash off” the seasoning with the beer. Top with a light sprinkle of chili powder.

DrunkenEarsPreppedRedux.jpg

Cook for 20-30 minutes on a hot grill, or smoke cook them for 120 minutes if using a smoker.

This is a very tasty side dish. Don’t waste the juices that are created as the corn boils lightly in the boat. Indeed, pour it over the main cut or on the side, for an extra delicious sauce.

Oh My Goodness, Here is another great Smoker Bag recipe – Beef Done Tender

Beef Done Tender from a Smoker Bag

Cooking a brisket or a large roast can produce mouth watering, juicy and more importantly tender slices of meat.

The trick is to use a roasting bag safe for an oven. To use one on the grill, try a Finnish style version with embedded wood chips. It will add the smoke flavor to the roast without overpowering the rest of the grill.

INGREDIENTS:
2 – 1/2 pounds of beef brisket or roast

SEASONING RUB
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

For a SEASONING BLEND
2 – 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar

DIRECTIONS FOR SEASONING RUB; Mix all of the above seasonings. Rub the surface of the meat covering any remaining fat. Place the meat into a smoker bag. Seal the bag and cook for the same amount of time as a covered roast.

DIRECTIONS FOR SEASONING BLEND; Simply blend in a mixing bowl and coat both sides of brisket or roast. For more information on smoker bags, look up http://www.savu.fi/in_english.iw3

Attributed to: Savu and Williams (US Distributor of Finnish smoker bags)

Baked Grits solve the problem with folks that don’t like runny grits

Breaking News! Do you ever ask people if they like grits and the answer is no, not if they are runny?

Sara Moulton has the solution to this problem – bake ’em with cheese –

Check this article out from the Observer-Reporter

CHEESE BAKED GRITS A DEEPLY SATISFYING STAPLE

https://observer-reporter.com/cheesy-baked-grits-a-deeply-satisfying-staple/article_62f2f858-baa1-11e7-addc-337c70123434.html