Saturday, February 8, 2014

Smoked Bourbon Apple Pie 2

A couple of months ago I had some apples that I needed to use so I figured while I had the smoker going I would add some smoke to the filling before I constructed the pie to cook it.  The first attempt was good, but I took the feedback I received from my taste testers, and my own experience with it and decided I would give it another shot today while the brisket was on the smoker.

To start I peeled 5 apples this time and cut the slices thicker.  Since the apples were going to be on the smoker for 2 hours and then in the oven for another 45 minutes, I didn't want them to reduce too much and become tough.  I added 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, 1 1/2 oz of Bourbon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice,  1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of mace to the bowl of apples and mixed it thoroughly.

I put the apples in a foil lined pan and put it on the smoker for 2 hours.  I then put the filling in a pie pan that I had already lined with a bottom shell, and rolled out the top shell over the pie.  I cut slices in the top to release any steam, and put it in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes.  At the end of the 15 minutes I lowered the temperature to 350 and left the pie in for another 35 minutes until it was done.

I pulled the pie out of the oven and left it on the counter to cool.  The smell is amazing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chili Night

So while I have no right to compare the cool 40s and 50s of Southern California to the winter the rest of the country is suffering, nothing warms up a cold winter night like a bowl of homemade chili.  Several months ago I made a batch of chili and when I soaked my beans I had way too much for one pot, so I froze a quart of the pre-chili mix to use at a later date.

Well, today is the day, I thawed the mix in the fridge overnight and poured the mix into the crock pot when I got home from work.  I added beer, tomato sauce, tomatoes, onions, fresh jalapenos, and cooked ground beef to the mix with a few seasonings to add some flavor to the mix.

I know what you are thinking, where is the recipe? Right! Well sorry, this is one secret that I cannot disclose. Everyone has their secret chili recipe that they continue to work and perfect to hopefully one day knock the socks off of a panel of judges, or just some friends.  This is mine....

This will be however the first time I take some to work for a taste test with my coworkers.  Mandy and I have been working on our chili for a while to perfect it and I think I am pretty close to damn good, but I need outside input on what might be missing.

It has heat, but won't fry your palate, the spice sets in as it passes the tongue and hits the throat which is nice cause it allows you to taste the ingredients and how they have melded together, and then POP, there is the heat!

Pair it with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, butter crackers, and some flour tortillas and I can't imagine a more perfect end to Hump Day!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bone In Ribeyes

I have written about bone-in ribeyes before, but as amazing as these hunks of meat and bone are, I just couldn't resist giving them another page in the blog.  Plus this time I prepared them a little differently, but really, who gets tired of looking at steak.

To start I trimmed the meat away from the end of the bone to make a nice handlebar for grabbing onto when its time to eat.  No fork or knife required for this steak!  I let the meat set at room temperature for about 15 minutes with a light coating of oil, salt, and pepper.

It was late when I started, so I decided I would sear them in my cast iron pan on the stove top, and move it to the oven to cook.  I preheated my cast iron pan until the oil was just starting to smoke, and then placed both of the steaks into the pan.  I seared them for 2 minutes on each side, and then transferred them to a preheated 450 degree oven for an additional ten minutes.

When the buzzer sounded I removed the pan from the oven and placed the steaks on a plate to rest lightly covered in foil.  These steaks don't need anything else, but I decided to do a light sauce to pour over the steaks.  I heated up the pan and added 2 tablespoons of butter stirring it constantly to mix the butter and fond left behind from the steaks.  I also added a splash of beer and let the mixture reduce.

Since no one needs to eat that much steak, and it is just the 2 of us, I sliced up the steaks before I plated them and drizzled a small amount of the sauce I made over the meat.  We haven't had fries for a while, so we splurged and added a side of fries to the plate, cause nothing goes better with a steak, than fries.