Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Dinner: Smoked Prime Rib with Au Jus, Cognac Carrots & Winter Greens

Christmas dinner is a time to bring in the big guns, and by big guns I mean prime rib, because Christmas should be about peace and not actual weapons. Still, prime rib is a hefty hunk of meat, so if your brother is really getting out of line...

Smoking prime rib is one of the most succulent ways to prepare this gorgeous cut and an easy way to not overcook it, which is the fear everyone has, right? They are all, 'OMG, this is such an expensive piece of meat and uncle Charles is already riding my butt about it being medium RARE!'

I've got your back, and have all the trimmings to boot in this post on Char-broil. Not only is smoking prime rib a cinch in the Big Easy (aptly named), my cognac carrots with currants might give you a teeny buzz to take off the stress induced by it being your turn to host Christmas. Add in some winter greens and not only is this meal healthy, local and seasonal, it's even gluten-free so you have the cave man, gluten free, and low carb dieters all covered and happy that they don't have to ruin their chosen eating plan. And for your guests that just eat, without a plan, like me, they'll be really happy you aren't preparing something weird for the part of the family on eating plans. Except for the vegans, but they'll be so thrilled that the carrots and winter greens don't have any bacon in them (though feel free to add bacon to the winter greens, because that would be delicious) that they will ignore the juicy gob of animal on the table.

Read the full post here in case you missed it in the above paragraph. Ask me questions at either place, but comments on She-Smoke get to me faster, to be honest, so if you have a question on Christmas Eve, I'd ask it here (but I'm taking Christmas and the day after that OFF from all things plugged in, except for maybe Facebook, which isn't even like being on-line because it's chatting with friends, so it's almost like a phone, right?). Hmm, I always get confused about punctuation outside and inside parenthesis. I'm going to leave that last really long sentence with a parenthetical aside as is, but feel free to comment about punctuation here as well.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Turkey, A Goose and a Ham Walked into a Smoker...

...and then into your mouth, people! Are you ready for Christmas? Do you feel like it came really really fast this year? It did! Thanksgiving was late and shrunk our whole holly jolly hang time.

Not to worry, my dearies. We're smoking up all kinds of roast beasts at Smokin' Pete's and all you have to do is Phone. It. In.

Succulent smoked prime rib, smoked goose that would make Dicken's drool, Hempler hams, spiral hams, and of course duck, duck, turkey!

Click on this dealy-doo to see the full menu:

And while you are at it, here's a little Who-Ville Vid of the Grinch stealing the roast beast to get you in the holiday mood.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Post on Welcome to the Cookout and Why I'm So Short

If you haven't read Welcome to the Cookout, you should. It's a great site all about outdoor cooking full of information from novice to expert grilling by master "CB" Chef Barry. He's as awesome on the grill as he is tall. I come up to, like, his waist both figuratively and actually.

Of course I come up to a lot of people's waists, chests and armpits. Whenever I put on a hoodie in the rain the cottony touch and damp laundry scent reminds me of concerts I saw as a teen because I spent most of them with my nose smashed into the back of some tall person's sweaty outerwear. When I wasn't trapped into a stranger's armpit, I was able to see the stage only 50% of the time on the up part of the constant jumping I had to do to see around the giants that invariably muscled their way to the front row. Maybe that's why I didn't go to as many concerts as my classmates. You try jumping for three straight hours. Even with a teen body, concerts were marathon aerobic workouts that left me sore and spent the next day.

Grandma Alida, at 4 foot 9 is to blame. I think she started out at the towering zenith of 4 foot 11, but by her eighties her contents had settled a bit. She was cute as a button, though, as is my daughter whom I gave Alida as a middle name. (My pediatrician was startled when I jumped up and cheered after she'd said my kids were "average" height for their ages).

But enough about my shortcomings (snort, giggle) and back to Barry and grills and barbecue. Incidentally, Mr. Martin also created Our Community Table, a site all about our food system and how it's broken and how we can fix it, together, and who out there is walking the walk and who is stomping on us with their millions. I have meant to join in and contribute for a year, but I have so many irons in the fire, for now I have to simply be a fan. I'll get there, late as usual. Barry also wrote the bulk of these two books
  and , during his spokesman years with Char-broil so he has the creds to back up his on-line persona.

For a guest post on his site I wanted to write on a subject for beginners on the grill. I get a lot of questions about how to keep meat from sticking on the grill. This post takes on that question with an easy recipe for practicing the technique (while making dinner of course!)

The Mustard-Oregano Chicken Tenders recipe in the post is a great one for kids too. I see that Barry took his own, better photo for his website and watermarked my photos for me because he knows I can't figure out how to do that. And he has those nifty "PIN THIS" Pinterest button on all the photos. I've been meaning to Google "how to get pin this button on blog photos" to figure out what the deal is with THAT, but I'd have to get a day off for once in my life, people, so get off my back!

Whoa, didn't know I was going to get all tetchy on you, poor dearest reader (hi mom). Must be my Napoleon complex.

Just (please) go read the post on Welcome to the Cookout and say something nice, OK?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Virtual Bake Sale For a Good Cause This Thursday

I met some awesome food bloggers in September at IFBC, one of whom was Alice Bush who was a table mate at a dinner at Re:Public. We we wined and dined until midnight and had fun with a host from Urbanspoon, who organized the evening of sending out hoards of food bloggers in groups of 8-12 to restaurants all over Seattle and the Eastside.

So when blogger Alice Bush approached me about donating to an on-line bake sale to raise funds for a friend that was in desperate need of a costly operation, I didn't hesitate. For one, I love bake sales, and also because food bloggers are one of my tribes, my community. People talk a lot about the loss of community, that neighbors don't know each other, and I agree that it's a problem, but we also have new communities, virtual neighbors who gather and host things like virtual bake sales.

I've put up my book for the auction. There are lots of actual baked goods on the auction too. The auction runs all day Thursday, December 12th from 8am to 9pm, then items will be mailed out in time for the holidays. How easy is that? To read about her friend, and view the list of auction items, go to Alice's blog, A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stock for Later

I don't know about you, but I always feel pressure to be the good little cook and make stock and soup after Thanksgiving. But turkey soup is the last thing I want to eat.

Don't get me wrong. I love left overs. I think I enjoy the first leftover turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving even more than the meal itself. I plan it out and make sure I have the appropriate roll, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy so I can pile it high with full-fat mayo.

Last year I forgot to bring home gravy and I was so mad I almost drove to the restaurant to get some. Being that the day after Thanksgiving is one of only five days in a year we are closed, I didn't. This year I made sure gravy was in my take home box.

Turkey soup or anything with the word turkey in it is also the last thing my husband wants to see after he's smoked 140 turkeys. I've seen him give the stink eye to extra turkeys we didn't sell and when I reminded him that those birds are no longer living, or have heads to see his stink eye, he turned his surly gaze on me.

That's why I freeze stock for later. January is exactly the time that I want a big ol' bowl of home made turkey noodle soup. If you feel the same way, I give you a pass on living up to your own standards.

Freeze it baby.