If you like prepackaged spice rubs then you have to try these out. Maple Pepper spice mixes are fantastic and are truly unique. I have never been a fan of premixed rubs but these are awesome. I took a chance as they were a recommendation from a friend and I smoked a beef brisket that was seasoned with the original Maple Pepper spice. The spice brand has several different flavors to choose from and my favorite is the garlic. The sweetness from the pure crystallized maple sugar balances out the other flavors perfectly. I use these spices frequently to add a little bit of sweetness into a rub or even just on a protein. Try it out on a burger and you will be amazed with the flavor. This evening I grilled up a grass fed beef burger with the habanero Maple Pepper spice as the sole seasoning. I seared the burger to medium rare and topped it with muenster cheese and applewood smoked bacon. I made some Challah bread yesterday and this was perfect for the burger to be encased in. I wish the Maple Pepper brand was easier to find locally, but it is worth buying directly from the manufacturer.
If you are interested in reading a cookbook that pertains directly the the thoughts of a chef then the #ThugKitchen cookbook is perfect for you. It is filled with tons of vulgarity sure enough to offend anyone. On the positive side it has amazing photos and delicious recipes. The cookbook is a vegetarian cookbook although I do love to eat meat, I have found some truly amazing vegetarian dishes in this book. While reading the cookbook every page makes me laugh with the description because as a cook there is vulgarity it every kitchen I have worked in. Those of you that are offended by vulgarity may want to mark it as something to not read, but I highly recommend the book to everyone. I enjoy cookbooks that dive deeper into food than just giving you a flat out recipe of a dish. This cookbook does that by explaining why certain foods are healthy as opposed to others. In no way are the authors preaching you to become vegetarian, only giving you great ideas to make eating more fun and healthy. I have actually taken many of the recipes and added meats to them because the core flavors will still exist throughout the dish as long as you have the right ingredients. I give this cookbook 5 stars. You can see recipes on their website as well if you cannot afford to buy the book. www.thugkitchen.com
Lately I have had a sweet tooth so this inspired me to bake some cinnamon rolls. This recipe makes about 10 of these super gooey amazing cinnamon rolls and is sure to please those sweets lovers out there. Share them or just eat them all like the cookie monster would!
For the dough:
1 Tbsp active yeast
1 oz granulated sugar
1 C warm water
1 oz vanilla extract
2 C Pastry Flour
1 oz melted butter
pinch of salt
For the filling:
1/4 C melted butter
3 Tbsps light brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 oz vanilla extract
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
For the frosting:
1/4 C Powdered sugar
1 oz cold water
- Preheat your oven to 330 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl combine yeast, sugar, water, and vanilla extract and set aside. Let the mixture hang out until it becomes foamy. Once foamy, add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
- Lightly knead the dough by hand on a flat surface into a ball with some all purpose flour to prevent from sticking. Roll your dough into a flat rectangular shape about 1/4″ thick.
- Combine all ingredients for filling. Liberally spread the filling on top of the rolled out dough.
- Start to slowly overlap the dough with filling starting from the bottom up until you reach the end of the dough.
- Turn the dough roll on its side and trim the ends with a knife. Start to cut your rolls evenly into 1″ pieces, you should get around 10-12 rolls.
- Spray a non-stick pan with pan spray and line your rolls on the pan about 2 inches apart from each other.
- Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter and dust lightly with granulated sugar. Let the rolls rise to about 25% larger.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls at 330 degrees F for 14-16 minutes until slightly golden brown.
- Remove the rolls from the pan and let rest on a cutting board for about 4 minutes. Drizzle the frosting on top of the rolls. Enjoy, stay hungry and stay tuned for more.
The claw is a technique that is used in every kitchen. Whether you are a professional or a home cook you can use this to prevent from cutting off your finger. The trick is to curl your fingers in with the opposite hand that you are cutting with. You do not want to cut with your fingers flat out as it may feel natural, but it is highly advised to not do this. Curl in your fingers and cut with your knife being raised against the front or top side of your fingers. Your fingers should be pointed tip down towards the cutting board to make this happen correctly. Practice this new skill as you will see that it is much safer than the natural instinct. Remember that speed should never reign over precision. It is not worth cutting yourself because you are chopping too quickly. Stay tuned and stay hungry!
Today I was feeling slightly under the weather so I decided to make some chowder for lunch. This recipe is great because in the time it takes the chowder to cook you will have fresh bread ready at the same time. This is a delicious and easy meal that you can feed the family with or just have leftovers for yourself. Potatoes and bacon work very well together especially in a soup.
For the soup:
4-5 Red potatoes skin on and cut into a small dice
4 Strips thick cut bacon cut into 1/4″ strips
1 Tbsp crisco (this can be substituted with any oil or butter product)
1/4 C Flour
2 C Chicken or vegetable stock
2 C Half and half
2 Tbsps sour cream
3 Tbsps Kosher salt
2 Tbsps black pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic powder
2 Tbsps Thyme
For the bread:
2 Tbsps active yeast
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 C warm water
3 C Flour. Have some extra flour set aside for kneading of dough.
1/4 C Melted butter
2 Tbsps Fresh Thai basil minced
Pinch of salt
1 egg, whipped
- Heat cast iron crock pot to medium heat and start to sweat your bacon strips. Add in the crisco with the bacon stirring occasionally.
- Once the bacon is slightly browned stir in your cut up potatoes and add the flour. Stir everything together and increase the heat to medium-high. Add in the rest of the ingredients and consistently stir. Once it starts to boil continue stirring and you will see the soup start to thicken.
- After about 6-7 minutes reduce your heat to low and let simmer, covered for about one hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning the bottom of your pot.
- Now it is time to get that bread made. The recipe for the bread makes about 10 personal sized loafs of bread, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you need to. First set your oven to 365 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl (or mixer if you have one) combine yeast, sugar, and water and let sit until the mixture starts to become foamy or spungey looking. It will take about ten minutes.
- Spray an oven pan with non stick spray or you can take a paper towel and smear butter onto the pan.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the egg. Add a little bit of extra flour if the dough is too sticky. You want to be able to touch the dough and have it not stay on your hand.
- On your counter or cutting board dust with flour and take the dough from the bowl. Start to knead the dough adding additional flour as needed to prevent too much sticking.
- Cut the dough into 5 oz pieces and roll out individually into a shape of your choice. I chose to make small baguettes so I rolled my dough into oval shapes. These don’t have to look perfect so do not stress about that.
- Place 4-5 rolled doughs onto prepared oven pan. Brush the dough with the egg wash and score the dough with a knife. Place the pan of bread on top of your oven to let the dough rise. You want the dough to increase to about 30% in size. It will take about 15 minutes for your dough to rise as your oven is heating.
- Cook your bread for about 12-15 minutes turning the pan once in between until the bread is golden brown on the outside.
- Your chowder is done now and you are ready to have the meal. Serve the soup with sliced or leave the bread whole for a rustic look. Stay hungry and stay tuned for more.
I have a huge love for the taste of wild game. Recently an elk roast was gifted to me from an elk hunted out here in Idaho. I usually do not do much to cover up the flavor of the wild game meat, but because this was a roast I wanted to smoke it. It was a great idea because it turned out to be quite amazing. The recipe is as follows:
2-3 lb Elk Roast
For the marinade:
2 C Worcestershire sauce
2 C water
1/4 C honey
1/2 C dry white wine
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsps kosher salt
2 Tbsps black pepper
7-8 whole peeled cloves garlic
For the dry rub:
2 C light brown sugar
1/4 C kosher salt
2 Tbsps cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp ground mustard seed
- Mix ingredients for marinade together. Submerge the roast in the marinade and let it soak overnight.
- Prepare your smoker and get to a steady temp of 190 degrees F. (you can use an electric smoker, but I prefer to use strictly a wood fire) I used apple wood for this roast.
- Take your roast out of the marinate and place on an oven rack with a pan underneath for drip offs. You can pat your roast dry if you want with a paper towel, I chose not to, but the option is there. Let it sit on the rack for about ten minutes.
- Mix up your ingredients for the dry rub.
- Start rubbing the roast with the dry rub on all sides of the meat. Make sure you use all of the dry rub. You will have to rotate the meat around several times for several coats to use up the mix.
- Now you are ready to smoke the elk. Place the roast on the furthest rack away from the heat in your smoker.
- Smoke the roast for 8-10 hours depending on your preferred doneness.
- Slice, enjoy, stay tuned and stay hungry.
This morning I went fishing with a friend and I also brought my dog Ruger along with me. This was his first fishing trip and he loved it. The first chance he go he jumped right into the water and he was quite confused once we started reeling in fish. Every time we brought a fish to shore he jumped in the water after it as if it was a duck or a goose to retrieve. Ruger learned real quick that the fish are fighters after gettIng slapped in the face my a fish’s tail. At the end of the day we ended up with 8 rainbow trout total and Ruger was a worn out pup.
Not too long ago I cooked up a brisket and it came out amazing. I did a simple dry rub on the outside and let it slow smoke for 10 hours in alder wood. Alder wood creates a nice smoke flavor without over powering the taste of smoke. Brisket is great to eat by itself and as a main course meal. In this instance it was cooked by itself and then devoured with some soda crackers.
3-4 pounds prime grade beef brisket
1 pound light brown sugar
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsps granulated garlic
3 tbsps kosher salt
- Make dry rub by mixing the sugar and spices.
- Rub on all sides of meat using all of the dry rub for a nice coating.
- Smoke for 9-10 hours between 180 degrees F and 205 degrees F. It is very important to not let your fire raise in a higher temperature than this zone.
- Remove brisket from smoker and let rest for 1 hour.
- Slice, serve, enjoy. Stay tuned and stay hungry for more.
In all of the kitchens I have ever worked there are still people that shed tears when they cut onions. The reason behind this is the fact that the knife being used is not sharp. It may be sharp to the touch, but until it is as sharp as a razor, then those tears will never break free. I cut onions on a daily basis and I don’t shed tears. I always make sure my knife is honed on a steel prior to use. It is important to sharpen your knife on a stone, but you do not want to over due it because it takes away from the integrity of the blade. I sharpen my knives on a stone maybe three times per year and you can get away with this as well if you take care of your blades. The best way to test of a knife is sharpened enough is to grab a piece of paper and run your blade through it top down. If it easily shreds then you’re ready, if not keep honing trying to keep as close to a 15 degree angle as you can. That’s it for today stay tuned and stay hungry.
I have been craving tacos for the past couple weeks now and I decided to make a lunch with them today. I made grass fed beef flank steak tacos with a mango jalapeño salsa. These tacos turned out amazingly refreshing. The salsa pairs perfectly well with the beef and is even great with tortilla chips.
1-2 pounds grass fed beef flank steak
1 mango, medium diced
2 C baby tomatoes, cut in half
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
flour or corn tortillas, warmed
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsps cilantro, minced
- Combine mango, tomato, jalapeño peppers, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, a dash of salt and a dash of black pepper in small bowl.
- Heat cast iron pan or stainless steel pan to medium-low heat.
- Season flank steak with dash of salt and black pepper on both sides. Rub the srasoning into the meat until the meat is nicely covered. You may want to add a couple more dashes of each spice to cover the steak.
- Sear the flank steak for about 5-6 minutes per side or until thickest part of meat reaches 120 degrees F. This is for rare as that is how I cooked this cut. Cook longer if you prefer a more done piece of meat.
- Let the beef rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- in this time you can warm your tortillas.
- Slice the beef at a bias cut for more texture against the grain. Serve atop a warmed tortilla and top with mango salsa.
- Serve, enjoy, and stay tuned for more.