Monday, December 31, 2012

Hot Spiced Fruit and Smoked Ham!

 Welcome to part two of our Christmas weekend adventures. Christmas morning we opened more gifts and had hot spiced fruit. Throughout the day we Skype'd with my family members across the lower 48. For dinner, I smoked a ham and yams, Stacy made garlic green beans and we made cheddar bread.
     Hot spiced fruit is a tradition in my family growing up and Stacy and I have made it a tradition for our family too. It is fairly easy to prepare in the crockpot. We usually mix all the ingredients up in the crockpot and let it cook on low all night. In the morning the house smells nice and you have a meal waiting for you. I'll give you the recipe then tell you how we actually make it at our house.
1 large can pears
1 large can pineapple chunks
reserve 1 and 1/2 cup of the juice and to it add:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 stick cinnamon or a tablespoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
bring juice mixture to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes
reduce heat, stir in the fruit and heat for 20 minutes.

Now what we actually do is even easier. We open various cans of fruit like pears, pineapple and peaches and pour them juice and all into the crockpot. We also clean out the freezer and add any fruit that has been in there too long or looks freezer burnt. For the marmalade we use whatever jam or jelly we feel like. Fresh oranges are a good addition too. Just make sure that you keep the spice amounts the same as the original recipe. One year I added too many whole cloves and it was way too spicy. We froze the rest all year and added it the batch we made the next year without adding more spices and it was perfect. We then cook it in the crockpot on low all night. In the morning we eat it warm. Cool whip, or vanilla ice cream are good in it plus it makes a great ice cream topping.
     For Christmas dinner, I rubbed a bone in smoked ham with honey mustard dressing and a maple honey sauce. I smoked it over indirect heat with apple wood for about 2 and a half hours at 300 degrees till the internal temp was over 155 degrees.  I basted the ham several times after the first hour with the mustard sauce. Also, I roasted some yams for an hour until their skin was gently yielding to light pressure. The ham had an amazing flavor of smoke and sweet mustard. The yams had a light smokey flavor. The bread was also really good. In fact the whole meal was good.
MMM! Cheesy bread goodness. We used homemade bread!

Double smoked ham!

Smoked yams and potato!

  We had a really good Christmas. For new years, I am going to smoke some ribs using my new rib rack. Have a happy new year! Happy Grillin!

Smoked Nuts and Fish Tacos!

I hope everybody had a good Christmas. I had a great four day weekend.This is going to be the first of a two part blog. Christmas eve we went over to Stacy's parents, had brunch and opened gifts. I got several grilling related gifts. I was given a Weber rib and roasting rack, a book called Weber's Smoke, and a grill light. I will be showing these in action in a few upcoming blogs. Later we went to Stacy's grandparents and had a Chinese Auction. As gifts we gave things that we had made. This summer we gathered fireweed pedals and froze them. We made jelly with the fireweed this fall when it was cooler in the house. We gave out jars of the jelly as gifts. Stacy made cookies and fudge. For her parents and sister, I made barbecue flavored smoked nuts.
          The smoked nuts were a last minute addition. I saw a recipe from Weber and decided to give them a try. I adapted the recipe to my tastes. Weber Smoked and Spiced Nuts is the original recipe. I used a Pampered Chef Smokey Barbecue Rub in place of the spices. I also doubled the recipe. I did use the brown sugar. To 4 cups of mixed salted nuts I tossed in 4 teaspoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of rub. You could use any of your favorite rubs.  It was so windy outside that I couldn't get my charcoal to light. So I did it in my Char-Broil  Grill top Infuser. I put hickory chips in the bottom then, foil in the basket and poked a few holes in the foil. Next, I put the seasoned nuts in the infuser and put it on the hot grill. I smoked them for about 25 minutes, tossing the nuts a few times to prevent burning. Then, I let them cool before putting them in an airtight container. They came out pretty good. I think next time, I'd add a little more sugar and smoke them a little longer.
Nuts! (sorry my flash made this look weird)

 I used the infuser and the unburned hickory wood to grill some cod pieces for fish tacos for dinner that night too. We put the cod in grilled  tortillas with cheese, southwestern dip, and guacamole. It was good.

Fish taco!

Fish taco with homemade Mexican rice! 

Fish taco up close!
The next blog will be about our adventures on Christmas day. Happy grillin'.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Noodles and Eggs!

I hope everybody had a good week. We put up our Christmas tree this weekend along with other decorations. I didn't grill this week either. I watched Isabella Saturday while Stacy did a Pampered Chef party. I made noodles and eggs for dinner. It sounds weird but is good.
           I started out by sauteing chopped onion in vegetable oil. I also added chopped frozen broccoli. Next, I added left over cooked noodles and let them warm up. We usually add bell peppers to it, but we didn't have any. Instead, I added Pampered Chef bell pepper seasoning, salt, and pepper. Some precooked sausage also went in the pan. After that, I added some eggs that I had whisked up. I mixed everything up until the eggs were cooked. Then, I added grated cheddar and parmesean cheese. When the cheese is melted it is done. Isabella loved it. She kept wanting more and more of it. This is an easy dish to make and you can vary it in lots of ways.
        Sunday, Stacy made a soup with the rest of the smoked turkey from Thanksgiving. It turned out really good and was very flavorful from the smoked turkey. Smoked or grilled meats and foods add lots of flavor to dishes. I encourage you to experiment with new ways to use your leftovers. I have a 4 day weekend coming up and plan on grilling several times. Sorry for no pics this time. Merry Christmas and Happy Grillin'!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teriyaki Pork Chops!

I almost didn't have a grilling post this week. Saturday and Sunday were spent watching Isabella while Stacy had Pampered Chef events. Sunday night though, Stacy started not feeling well and still didn't feel the best Monday morning. I ended up staying home from work Monday and took care of them. Stacy was feeling better by Monday afternoon, so I decided to grill for dinner. I made teriyaki pork chops.
       While the grill was preheating, I salt and peppered the pork chops. Also I cut a couple of onion slices, skewered them, peppered them, and brushed on KC Masterpiece Honey Teriyaki marinade. When the grill was hot, I put the pork and onions on  and turned the heat to medium high. After a little bit, I gave each chop a quarter turn and turned the onion over. A few minutes later, I turned the pork chops and basted with the marinade. The onions were softened and showed grill marks by this time, so I took them off. The pork got turned a quarter turn again after a few more minutes. Next I turned them over again and basted the other side. I took them off to rest after caramelizing the marinade a little on each side. I also grilled some bread for a few minutes. To go with everything, we had noodles with butter.
Yummy dinner!

Pork up close!
As usual everything tasted great. The marinade worked as a good basting sauce. It is nice to know that is tastes good even if you don't actually marinade your meat and veggies in it beforehand. I had the leftover pork for dinner tonight. It was even good cold. I would like to use this marinade to make Asian inspired ribs. I hope everybody has a great week. Happy grillin'!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pulled Pork!

I hope everybody had a good week. I had a pretty productive weekend. We put up some of our Christmas decorations among other things.  Sunday, I smoked a pork roast for pulled pork.
           Saturday night, I started out by rubbing the pork shoulder roast on all sides with salt and pepper followed by a mixture of Pampered Chef Smokey Applewood Rub and Smokey Barbecue Rub. Sunday morning I lit some Kingsford Original Charcoal in my chimney starter and started some apple wood chips soaking.There were also a few mesquite flavor briquettes mixed in too.  I piled up some unlit charcoal on both sides of the grill with an open space in the middle. In the open spot, I put a foil  pan filled with water.  Once the coals were ready, I dumped them evenly on the two piles of unlit coals. I added my smoker box to one side with the soaked applewood inside and some soaked chips to the other side. I let the grill warm up and start smoking before I added the roast to the grill. The roast went fat side up over the water pan. I adjusted the heat to maintain between 250 and 300 degrees. I had to replenish the coals a couple times to maintain the heat. It took about 4 hours for it to be done.  Once the pork reached an internal temp of 195 I took it off and put it in my cast iron combo cooker. I covered it with my skillet and let it rest for a bit.
           I know that this is not how a lot of people do their pulled pork, but this is the way I like it. When I make pulled pork, I like to smoke the pork then shred it and put it in a crock pot with BBQ sauce and onions to cook for awhile. I didn't have that time, so I put it in the combo cooker and shredded it. I then added half an onion that I sliced. After the onion, I poured in the remnants of a few jars of BBQ sauce. The whole mixture then cooked with the stove on low for an hour. I stirred it every so often. We ate it on homemade bread. We all thought it came out great. Isabella, who doesn't eat her meat well, even wanted more. As we were eating it, Stacy and I were talking about how tasty the bark was and Isabella thought we said barf. She started imitating the cat throwing up. We had a nice laugh about that.
Before shredding. (sorry for blurry pic)

Being shredded.

Finished product!


Hey Dad I'm trying to eat!
        I did all that smoking with the temps in the single digits and the wind blowing outside. The end result is worth it though. We had a nice dinner Sunday and I ended up with leftovers for dinner all week at work. I will be watching Isabella during dinner both days this weekend, so we will see if I get any grilling in. I hope everybody has a good week. Until next time, happy grillin'!