I’ve been using my bread machine more and more lately. I’ve had it for years, and probably like a lot of people’s bread makers, mine spends a lot of time in the back of the pantry sitting quietly. That’s kind of sad, because it makes great loaves of bread. Now, they’re not quite the perfect loaves I can get at the locally-owned bakery shop, but they’re mighty darned good and they leave the house smelling delicious.
This Italian herb bread has a tremendous aroma and taste. It made for the perfect sandwich bread. A nice light crust and soft insides, but not so soft that it can’t hold up to a mound of sandwich meat and cheese. Any leftover ends or less-than-perfect pieces of this Italian herb bread get turned into fantastic croutons. Great croutons. So good in fact that I wouldn’t hesitate to make a loaf just for croutons.
Despite how simple the sauce on these fiery Catalina wings was to make, it absolutely blew us away! We loved it! A tad of sweetness, a tad bit of tanginess, and a good bit of heat. Of course, you can adjust the heat to your liking, which is why making your own chicken wing sauce is so much more fun than using a sauce out of a bottle. I cook a lot of wings using lots of different sauces, but there’s not doubt that fiery Catalina wings will be common in our house. Everything we need to make them is on-hand, so I can throw together the sauce in no time with no hassle. Perfect.
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.
This may well be Anita’s favorite chili. I have to admit, it’s mighty good. This quick fix Tex-Mex corn chip chili is definitely quick fix. The only way you could make a chili any quicker is if the entire dish came out of a single can. Served over crunchy corn chips, it has all you need in a no-time-to-waste chili. Beans, beef, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro. Oh and a bit of cheese. I prefer fire-roasted green chiles any time a recipe calls for green chiles. The roasting adds a nice caramelized flavor and texture. Same goes for canned tomatoes, I prefer fire-roasted.
For a little kick use spicy pinto beans instead, substitute pepper jack cheese, and add in a minced roasted jalapeno.
I used to grill (or bake) my frozen hash brown patties. But now that I have a Big Easy, I can make them even easier than before. Just toss a few little cakes-of-potato-goodness into the cooker and in no time you have crispy golden brown hash browns. Anita likes hers plain so she can top them with ketchup. Me, I like a little cheddar and chopped chives.Bacon. Sour cream. Butter. Green onions. BBQ sauce. Roasted red bell peppers. You name it, anything goes great on hash brown patties cooked hot and quick on the Char-Broil Big Easy.
I woke up one morning and said “That’s it. I am not ignoring my bread machine any longer”. Like a lot of folks, I keep my bread machine at the back of the pantry. Way in the back. Well, no more. I’ve been using it to make fantastic po boy bread dough and since Anita requested French toast, I also made a great loaf of brioche bread. My first time. And yeah, though it’s not like I worked the dough by hand, it still feels homemade and boy, was the French toast out of this world!This bread machine brioche is so soft and eggy inside. The crust is thin but a little crunchy. It holds up well for making French toast.
The key to this bread is determining when to add the butter. You’ll be adding 8 tablespoons (a stick), one tablespoon at a time at 1 minute intervals, during the last kneading cycle. For our bread maker the second (last) kneed cycle ends 35 minutes after starting the machine. That means I add the first tablespoon of butter after 27 minutes. You’ll want to consult your bread machine manual to know when the kneading cycle ends.
Follow the measurement amounts exactly to get the proper texture.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pats, softened
Add all ingredients except for the softened butter to the bread machine in the order specified by your bread machine maker. I have listed the ingredients in the order for my older model Regal bread maker.
Set your bread machine to 'sweet' or 'regular' if yours doesn't have a 'sweet' setting and begin processing.
minutes before the second kneed cycle is completed start adding the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, 1 minute between adding each one. NOTE: My bread machine book has a chart showing the various cycle times. For mine, making sweet bread, the 2nd kneed begins after 15 minutes and last 20 minuets. So, I began adding the butter 27 minutes (15 minutes + 20 minutes - 8 minutes) after starting the bread.
Let machine finish and then open the top. Let the bread cool 20 minutes before removing to slice.
It was a cold and crappy day. I didn’t really feel like cooking much, so I threw all of the ingredients for pot pie into the slow cooker and let it go for 6 hours. Into pie pans, topped with dough, and a few minutes later… bingo! Slow cooker pot pie! Yummy and creamy and with just a little bit of that crunchy crust that I think is pretty much required by law. There’s nothing fancy about this slow cooker pot pie. It takes minimal time to throw together, and it makes a nice big batch. Great on a cold day. Perfectly good on a warm day.
The first few times I saw Famous Dave Anderson on TV he was competing on BBQ cooking shows. He didn’t always win, but he always made food that looked amazing and just as important, he always came across as genuinely nice. I thought what a welcome change from the sometimes-a-bit-too-much-over-the-top folks you see compete in food contests.
At the time there weren’t any Famous Dave’s restaurants near us. And in fact, I wasn’t particularly sold on the idea of chain BBQ, but when a restaurant finally opened in Indianapolis I went with an open mind and empty stomach. I came away thinking to myself “shame on me for thinking that some corporate chain couldn’t turn out BBQ just as good as our local joints”. And I came away thinking that I’d just had some of the best side dishes I’d ever had from anywhere, be it BBQ or fine dining.
Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook is packed with great dishes, perfect for your next outdoor cookout. Don’t expect copycat recipes from the restaurant. Instead, you’ll find a wide range of recipes, from simple dipping sauces (the Cajun mustard is perfect for dipping chicken nuggets or just slather some on a hot dog bun) to a cooling avocado potato salad to Tex-Mex fajitas.
One thing I really, really enjoy about Famous Dave’s Barbecue Party Cookbook is that there’s nothing ‘weird’ in it. I have just about everything I need on-hand to make most of the recipes in the book. And although most of the dishes are ‘normal’, they are all super-flavorful versions of things you may have had before. Like cocktail weenies. Dave’s BBQ Smoky Porkies take them to a new level, adding pickles (yes!), bacon and cheese, served with a fantastic apricot BBQ sauce for dipping. Take that, ‘normal’ cocktail weenies!
I have been loving making jerky on my Nesco Snackmaster Pro. I’ve been using ground top round for my ground beef jerky, but any lean ground meat will work. This whiskey pepper ground beef jerky has a really great peppery flavor, with a hint of whiskey. For me, the peppery flavor was a big hit. I could eat this jerky all day long (and did).
Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so. The bottom trays in the Nesco Snackmaster Pro will not dry as quickly as those on top. Rotating the trays will give you nice, even drying and perfect jerky on every level.
Sweet BBQ Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro
Recipe type: Dehydrator
Serves: 1/2 pound
This recipe is for starting with 1 pound of meat. You'll end up with about 1/2 pound in the end. You can easily double/triple/etc this recipe for large quantities of meat, however 5-6 pounds is about all you can fit onto a Nescao Snackmaster Pro fitted with 12 trays (the unit comes with 5).
1 teaspoon curing salt (Comes with the seasoning. Optional if you're going to refrigerate the finished product)
1/4 cup water
NOTE: The package for the Eastman Outdoors jerky seasoning states that it makes up to 5 pounds of jerky. I personally feel that the flavor is too mellow, so I use just about an entire package for 1 pound of jerky. I end up with a little left over seasoning, which I store in a labelled air-tight container. I'll eventually mix it with more seasoning. I think I can get 3 pounds of well-seasoning jerky out of two packages of Eastman Outdoors mix.
Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
Remove meat from the marinade and add to a jerky gun. Squeeze out onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It's really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There's no wrong here.