When less really is more, steak tacos

We were some of the lucky ones during ice-aggedon. Our driveway isn’t a 90Ā° drop off, like many of our neighbors drives. (well, it’s pretty flat out front, past the house it’s like an asphalt slide)

While I didn’t drive the first 13 days, my hot husband was able to get me to the store for emergencies, you know like chocolate. (kidding, maybe) Anyways, maybe it was day 12 when I went with His Hotness to Nashville to see how the roads were coming along, to know if he’d be able to take out the big work truck.

The roads were much better than the roads up these parts, but the work site was a no-go. Anyways, I’ll just claim my 5th amendment rights and not tell you about the amazing authentic Mexican tacos we got just off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.

Most of my adult life, tacos have been more like the supreme version of Taco Bell, the crunchy, soft is fajitas daggumit (giggle). In those tacos that I will not talk about, I found that really truly, less is more.

Something odd happened that day, he told me he could eat those tacos seven days a week. I was going to hold him to it, they were so freaking easy, but by day three, he was all taco-ed out.

Less is more, gosh I love them, steak tacos, LCHF style

Filling:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef steak, round, flank, square (haha), what ever kind, just not the green kind.
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: pink salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano.
  • coarse black pepper

Cut steak into strips, against the grain. Heat a skillet (I like stainless, use what you like) over medium high heat, add bacon grease. Add steak. When it is no longer pink, add seasonings. For some odd reason, steak in this day and age loses a lot of water, if it gets watery, heat up the griddle and griddle it dry, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks :)

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks šŸ™‚

Topping:Ā 

  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper as you like it
  • 1/2 lime

Put the onion and cilantro in a glass bowl. Toss it around with the salt and pepper, squeeze the lime over the top and mix once more for good measure. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until your tacos are ready. (I don’t always use a glass bowl for cooking, but when I use lime or lemon juice, I always use a glass bowl. You’re welcome)

Because you’ve already made a large batch of the broccoli cheese waffles, tortilla style, pull a few of those bad boys out and heat them up on the griddle.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each. (and OMG if the bacon chicken were really #37, does that make these #38? Gonna have to work hard to fill in the blanks, but at least it has me out of my “writer’s block” good deal, really.

Once your waffle tortillas are heated up, top with filling, top with topping. That’s it. You don’t need no cheese (it’s in the tortilla anyways), no sour cream, just a wedge of lime to squeeze on top before that first bite…

Yummy, yummy

Yummy, yummy

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco... So freaking good.

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco… So freaking good.

They were really nice with the ceviche and chips last night. So good, that I heated up a couple for a breakfast sammich…

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

 

101 things to do with broccoli waffles, ceviche and chips

I’m seriously in love with these things. In case you missed them, broccoli and cheese waffles, from The Primitive Palate are what I’m talking about. Anyways, my friend Brenda and I got to brainstorming and ended up with some tortillas. I ended up typing myself into a tasty corner by calling the chicken bacon tacos #37 of 101 things to do with broccoli cheese waffles.

Anyways, I figure the #1 thing to do is the recipe as written with a waffle iron. I plan on doing just that, once I make my way to Goodwill or find a waffle iron on the cheap.

The roads are nice and clear now, still cold, but we hit the store. Since the only thing I changed with the waffles was basically the shape last time, well, and my sub for Mrs. Dash, I thought I’d branch out and count using a 50/50 mix of cheddar to mozzarella could at least count as one of the 101, I went ahead and added a bit of oregano to my last batch’s changes.

 

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

Tossing the cheddar in the mix ended up making them more bendy, they almost looked like round doritos, so I thought “what the heck?”, I made some ceviche anyways, what’s the worst that could happen.

Ceviche

  • 2 fillets tilapia (about 3 oz each)
  • 6 oz calamari
  • 4 oz bay scallops
  • lime juice, about 1/2 cup
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper
  • pico de gallo (chop up some onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, mix well, and add a little lemon juice, heck, add jalepeƱo if you would like)

Chop fish, calamari, and scallops into somewhat uniform sizes. Mix together in a glass bowl with pink salt and black pepper. Pour lime juice over to cover. Use a little more if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Seafood is done when it is opaque.

Serve onto dishes with a slotted spoon, topped with pico de gallo.

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again :)

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again šŸ™‚

I love ceviche, we make it often. Normally May and I eat it with a fork, not tonight though!

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

At that point, these were great. May thought they were bland. I told her “more for me” (Big sexy doesn’t like ceviche, so he didn’t get any broccoli cheese waffle chips)

Once we got that ceviche plated, she changed her mind about the chips. Half were on her plate. I couldn’t get mad because I was like OMG… best thing I ever ate a-freakinggain!!!

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

Anyways, because I missed lunch, had too much time on my hands, and really really wanted tacos again… I made some tacos for dinner tonight with the ceviche. It’s getting late, so I’ll just have to give you the recipe and pictures for that one tomorrow.

The thing about breakfast sausage…

To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast sausage. If it wasn’t a link or maple, count me out, more for you and all. Things changed when we (mainly my sister, they lived at her pond after all) raised some pigs a while back. (Sausage, Bacon, and Ham, later known as Bubba)

As I told you way way back, we took Bubba’s sisters to Yoder Brothers in Paris, TN. OMG that was some FINE porky eats, such cuts, such beautiful fat, even bagged me up back fat for making my lard, lard have mercy, the memories make me salivate…

Bubba turned out to be not so tasty. Maybe because he was a boy, maybe because he had gotten so big since evading the trailer before our trip to Paris, or maybe because he was just so lean, who knows? They had the same diet, we snorted with and scratched them all the same (and by we, I mean me, because I’m a pig whisperer, you know, giggles)

Anyways, we finally found a way to make Bubba tasty and of all things, it turned out to be sausage. After his city bacon playing a staring role in the summer sausage and receiving a standing ovation, we decided to use a bit more Bubba in breakfast sausage.

  • 6 pounds venison (we boned another shoulder and added a couple tenderloins)
  • 2 pounds pork, we used 2 thick cut Bubba chops, what little fat left in tact, boned, and boil meatĀ (uncured jowl)
  • 3 T sage
  • 1 T crushed red pepper
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 2 T season salt
  • 1Ā Ā¼ t Lem cure, I buy it at BPS, AS&O doesn’t carry the un-seasoned cure. Here’s a link if you don’t have a BPS nearby.Ā http://www.basspro.com/LEM-Products-Meat-Cure/product/82821/

The plan was to make links when we made breakfast sausage. The news of a flu season of epic proportions in Nashville made my inner flu-a-phobe settle for just bagging it in freezer bags and making patties as needed. Yeah, one can purchase fancy sausage bags for slicing sausage, but seriously, once sausage is thawed completely, slicing a patty is out of question and we’re patting them out anyways.

Step 1: Remove fat, gristle, and bone from meat if needed.

Step 2: Cut meat into chunks (venison and pork).

Step 3: Process all the meat through the grinder. This time, we put in a little venison, then a little pork, then a little venison and well, you get the point.

Step 4: Combine all seasonings and cure with 6 ounces ice cold water, mix well, until salts are dissolved.

Step 5: If you are like me and do not have a meat mixer, glove up and mix the seasoning/cure mixture into the meat.

Step 6: My inner control freak added this step… Run the whole kit and caboodle through the grinder once more to ensure extra yumminess.

Step 7: I’m not so much a control freak to weigh it out, so I eyeballed one and 2 pounds, per bags, removed the air from the bags, and popped them in the deep freeze.

The sausage turned out not nearĀ as fatty as store bought sausage. It’s lean enough that lubing a hot skillet with a tablespoon or so of bacon juice to prevent sticking is a good idea. The sausage also turned out quite darkly colored, but cooks up pink in the non-seared areas and middle.Ā It is mild, so if you like hot, double or even triple the crushed red pepper.

The teen and Big Sexy gave it two thumbs up, and even I ended up liking it. It also worked out quite nicely in my low carb sausage ball recipe.

While I didn’t manage to get any pics while making the breakfast sausage, I did get a nice pic of the new grandson in what the girls refer to as his man suit.Ā 

King Brandon Manuel Serrano, we can already tell at 10 days old that he's going to be a goof-ball.

King Brandon Manuel Serrano, we can already tell at 10 days old that he’s going to be a goof-ball.

Gyro Jerky is amazing…

I told you back in the spring how I was inspired to try something new. I’ve not made a gyro kebab since then, but I have been quite busy turning ground venison into jerky.

The great thing about making your own jerky is that the flavors are endless. So far this jerky season, I’ve got seven flavors in the freezer BBQ, Fajita, Flaming Fajita, General Tso, Szechuan, Teriyaki, and Gyro.

Ground meat jerky is really easy to make. It takes a fairly inexpensive initial investment, a dehydrator and a jerky press, time, and patience. The hard part is really clean up/washing your equipment.

Since I’ve upped my jerky game this season, Big Sexy got me a new dehydrator, a Presto DehydroĀ®. The new dehydrator holds three pounds of pressed meat as does my old faithful Nesco/American Harvest dehydrator. The cool thing is that I can now processĀ six pounds a day instead of three, on the down side, that’s only three pounds of finished jerky, but let me tell you, Gyro jerky is worth it!

I’ve been on the fence about sharing this recipe. It’s one of those recipes I really want to keep secret, but then again, when I’m gone it would go with me, and then the world would be gyro jerky-less lol.

  • 2 T salt (I use Himalayan, you can use that too, or seasoned salt)
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t corriander
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t celery seed
  • Ā½ t cinnamon
  • 1Ā Ā½ t Lem cure (sodium nitrite) (if you opt for no cure, make sure to keep finished product refrigerated)
  • 6 pounds ground venison

Combine first twelve ingredients in a jar or small bowl. Mix well. Add Lem cure if using, mix well. Place ground venison in a very large bowl. Add seasoning mix and mix well by hand or use your kitchen aid or like stand mixer (for six pounds, my kitchen aid is an arm saver).

Load your jerky press according to the directions and shoot it out onto the drying racks.

 

shooting out slim jims

shooting out slim jims

yeah,  jerky pressing and taking ones own pics is not an easy task.

yeah, jerky pressing and taking ones own pics is not an easy task.

You want to keep them close, but not touching for good circulation.

You want to keep them close, but not touching for good circulation.

If your dehydrator has a temperature gauge, set to 165Ā°, if not, follow the “jerky” instructions from your manual. I like to check the meat after a coupleĀ hours, flipping it if it is dry to the touch (gloves, gloves, gloves people). Depending on how well drained your meat was to begin with the drying time is 4 – 8 hours. (placing your meat in a colander, set into a larger bowl, covered over night will shorten your drying time and will also help get rid of any gamy taste that sometimes comes with wild game)

Once your jerky is dried, unplug your dehydrator. Remove jerky to a sheet pan for cooling. Wait until it completely cooled for bagging, so that there is no condensation in the bags.

Cooling it off is really important. Placing hot jerky in bags makes for gross slimy not jerky stuff.

Cooling it off is really important. Placing hot jerky in bags makes for gross slimy not jerky stuff.

For long term storing, place bags of jerky in the deep freeze.

In case anyone is wondering “Can I use this recipe on flank steak or venison steak for strip jerky?” the answer is no. This recipe is best used with ground meat, mixed well. The seasonings applied to steak strips even with using soy sauce instead of salt, makes for parsley and oregano on the outside of the meat, which in the mouth was like eating something that had been dropped in a pile of leaves, not good. On the other hand, using this recipe with soy sauce instead of salt, as a marinade for grilled ribeyes or venison steaks was pretty amazing…

 

 

 

“Souper” easy Venison-esque Salisbury steak

The plan for dinner was to make Salisbury steak with roasted root vegetables and broccoli. I figured it was as good a time as any to break out some ground venison and give it a go.

I thought about the worst that could happen – taste too gamy, and decided a 50/50 mix of venison to beef would tip the scales in my favor as far as not having “too gamy” uttered mid meal.

I had gotten a late start on setting the meat out to thaw. Ended up taking a couple short cuts where normally, I would have made my own gravy, rather than using canned soup. As an advocate of “whole foods” I should be ashamed of myself for using a couple of processed cans of something, I guess. The saving grace though, is that the roasted root vegetables (parsnip, sweet potato, turnip, carrot, onion) were fresh and peeled, roasted with salt, pepper, and garlic. The broccoli/mushroom bake was fresh broccoli, cut up, tossed with butter, wiped and sliced mushrooms, and topped with a little parm, no shortcuts on the sides anyways…

  • 1 pound ground beef (73/27 is what I used)
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T minced onion
  • 1 t seasoning salt
  • 1/2 t fresh cracked pepper
  • 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (the kind in the can)
  • 2 T Dale’s seasoning/marinade
  • 1 can french onion soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350Ā°. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, Parmesan, Dale’s seasoning, salt, and pepper. (mix well) Glove up and mix in the ground beef and ground venison. (a mixer is too harsh, a fork just doesn’t cut it, mix it like you’re kneading dough). Grease two 8″ x 11″ oven safe dishes (I used a couple of glass lasagna pans). Pat out about 1/4 pound patties, you should get 8-9 patties, and place in baking dishes.

Open the french onion soup and use a slotted spoon to spoon a bit on each patty, then divide liquid between both dishes like the following picture:

Patted out, ready for the oven

Patted out, ready for the oven

Cover both dishes with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and drain liquid into a sauce pan. Add the cream of mushroom soup to the pan drippings and mix well. It is at this point you can combine the patties staggered into one baking dish. Pour the “gravy” (soup/drippings mixture) over the patties and re-cover with foil. Bake 30 – 45 minutes more, covered.

venison/beef Salisbury steaks.

venison/beef Salisbury steaks.

Like I typed up there somewhere, I served it with roasted root vegetables and a what’s the worst that could happen baked broccoli/mushroom toss. It was a hit. Nobody knew it was venison, well, except for me, and only because I prepped it.

While this recipe is not “keto” it is lower carb than traditionally prepared Salisbury steak and gravy (no flour, no breadcrumbs). While I had no problem with my postprandial blood glucose readings, be sure and test yours prior to and one and two hours after consuming any new to you foods.

Spike-y Mocha Latte, maybe…

The coffee liqueurĀ isĀ about ten weeks old now. I’m seriously amazed at how good it is. I’ve left it sit in the cabinet for the past 5 weeks. No longer is there a need to shake or stir.

Needing something to warm me up, not only from that chilling episode of TWD, but from the cold itself, I thought about what the worst would be iffin’ I was to mix a little of that with a little of this, a packet of that and push play on the Keurig.

The worst did indeed happen. It was good, I wanted another one. Having recently finished readingĀ “Interview with the Vampire”, I fancied myself Claudia, and indulged enthusiastically in another round of the warm, thick goodness.(I slay me lol)

Call it what you’d like, I call it Spike-y Mocha Latte, if anyone asks.

  • 1 large mug
  • 1 shot home made coffee liqueur (you did make it, right?)
  • 1 shot heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet diet hot chocolate mix (read the box, 4 carbs per serving, or make your own sugar free version and send me the recipe, thank you very much)
  • small or medium shot of hot water from the keurig, depending on the size of your mug.

In a large mug, add the coffee liqueur, heavy whipping cream, and diet hot chocolate mix. Using a mini wire whip, whip until well incorporated, it will be kinda frothy. (if you don’t whip it, whip it good, it will be lumpy and lumpy is not good.) Fill the rest of the way with hot water, use small or medium, depending on your size mug if using a one cup coffee maker.

As always, if you are a type 2 diabetic like I am, test prior to, one and two hours after consuming any “new to you” foods and beverages. Knowledge is power.

Dang it, I still taste the coconut, let’s go with “Peanut butter chocolate chip macaroons” for the win please…

Every week, I make a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for May to take to lunch each week. They never really turn out like cookies, more like “cakies” or “muffin tops”, but anyone doing LCHF is already trying to steer clear of muffin tops, right?

Every week, she still doesn’t really like them, and I can still taste the coconut. You know me, I get something in my head and then fly by the seat of my pants with it. I’d wager this week is batch number 5, and I finally decided to use half splenda Ā and some stevia packets. (I have been gradually switching to stevia in my coffee. It’s getting less bitter as time goes on, so I thought about the worst that could happen, and ran with it.)

These are the cookies but not cookies..

These are the cookies but not cookies..

The worst didn’t happen, these turned out pleasantly sweet, with no after taste like with splenda alone in the cookies or stevia in my coffee, the merge worked out well.

Anyways, the high school band is having a bake sale during their Halloween concert and each member must bring some baked goods. I’m seriously considering Coconut Macaroons from my 1959 Better Homes And Gardens cookbook (wheat free back then).

I’m also seriously considering sending some of these. They are quite tasty, but they aren’t really a “cookie”, maybe a “biscuit” would be the closest thing, the ones without chips remind me of pancakes. Anyways, I figured I would give you the recipe for the 5th generation of these whatchamadigs.

  • 1 cup peanut butter (Natural is a better option because of no added sugar)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/8 c water
  • 1 t vanilla (imitation works as well as real in these)
  • 1/3 c slenda
  • 6 packets stevia
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 coconut flour
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl whip eggs until well blended. Using a wire whisk, mix in vanilla and peanut butter. It will become thick. Thin it out a little with the water.

In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking powder, stevia, and splenda. Mix well. Whisk into peanut butter mixture, and finally, fold in chocolate chips. Use a 1/2 ounce scoop and place them about 1 1/2″ apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (Dark works better for browning the bottoms)

Bake for 15 minutes at 350Ā°. Turn around pan and bake 2-4 more minutes. Let cool on the pan. Upon trying out test subject 497, (exaggerating) I bet I could get away with calling them “Peanut butter chocolate chip, mini-individual sponge cakes” (giggling)

Next week, generation 6, I’m thinking about leaving out the baking powder, seeing if maybe they don’t rise so much and maybe become more like a cookie. This evolution stuff is not that bad though, at least I get to eat each generation lol.

If you’re up for the challenge, give them a go, tweak them if need be (I’m seriously serious about trying them without the baking powder, they started with 1/2 c coconut flour, which was really overpowering in a coconutty kinda way. Anyways, I tried using less water, but they are so dry, crumbly even…

On that note, I’ll leave you with something that contributed to a fabulous last week!!!

This is Prancer, my friend Lori picked her up at the winery the other day. She's a Christmas tree decoration, but Cam totally snagged her!!

This is Prancer, my friend Lori picked her up at the winery the other day. She’s a Christmas tree decoration, but Cam totally snagged her!!

As always be sure and test prior to and one and two hours after consuming a new to you recipe. Knowledge is power.

There’s also this super big thing, but it’s not finished yet. Cliffhanger…

 

****UPDATE!!!**** With the bake sale being tonight, I decided to make a batch sans the baking powder. Yeah, fail, of epic proportions. They still rose a little, but are so dense, like brick muffin tops. I think next batch, I’ll just stick with this last version.

Winter IS coming, a recipe…

While I really couldn’t see it or feel it last weekend in the deer blind, the cooler mornings and chilly evenings these past few days let me know that winter is surely on its way. Gone will be the warm evenings on the deck with a glass of chilled “Big Sexy’s finest*”, coming are the evenings sitting by the roaring fire on the deck, relaxing with a hot beverage, spiky or not.

Yeah, he's a keeper, he makes me wine, I add fresh fruit (strawberries and lemons are nice) for sangria.

*Yeah, he’s a keeper, he makes me wine, I add fresh fruit (strawberries and lemons are nice) for sangria.

As far as warm spiky beverages, my go-to is usually sugar free apple cider with a little green apple vodka for a nice warmer upper, but I had really been missing coffee liqueur. Googling coffee liqueur, I found that one ounce has a whopping 16 grams of carbohydrates, and well, 16g is a big chunk when you are LCHF, even in maintenance at 50g daily.

I set to task looking for a DIY recipe, something that would be lower in the sugar, but the recipes I found called for at least two cups of sugar per quart of finished product and well, that still makes for 400g/quart, 12.5g/1oz serving, still too much for me.

In my search for the perfect recipe (for me) for coffee liqueur, I found that you can use just about any spirit for the recipe, rum, vodka, brandy… Since I’m not real hip to sugary substances anymore, I figured I could cut the sugar back and still end up with something palatable. After a quick raid of the liquor cabinet, I had my ingredients readied.

Not sugar free, but a lot less sugar than normal Coffee Liqueur

  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup ground coffee (I like Kona, use what you like though)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups brandy (or vodka, clear rum, what evs)
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

How I did it:

Place 3/4 cups ground coffee into a mason jar, add 1 cup of water. Put a top on it and pop it in the fridge for 24 hours. Shake it up every now and then.

After your coffee has been “cold brewed”, place 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of water into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 5 minutes (while stirring often, you don’t want to scorch it, just making a simple syrup).

Allow your “syrup” to cool completely. This is important because hot syrup + cold coffee + room temperature liquor = condensation that makes the whole batch just yucky and it’s just not good sanitary food/beverage handling type stuff…

Once your syrup is cooled, pour it into a clean, sanitized quart mason jar. Add your syrup, 2 cups of brandy, and your split vanilla bean or 1 T real vanilla extract. Pop a top on it and store it in a dark cabinet for two weeks until it is ready for use.

Using 3/4 cups of brown sugar versus 2 cups of white sugar makes for 160g carbs per quart, or 5g carbs per ounce. (much better than 16 in my opinion)

Once the two weeks was up, I made a “frozen white Russian” (ice, 1oz coffee liqueur, 2 oz left over coffee, 2 oz heavy whipping cream, blended) It reminded me of those Arby’s Jamocha shakes I was once so fond of, only not so sweet.

I’ve noticed that the flavor only improves with age, it’s been 5 weeks since I made this batch and it’s better than it was at 2 weeks. This weekend will be week 6, cold, and I’m thinking the stars may be in line for a nice “hot toddy” while warming in front of the fire on the deck after a full day of hunting.

Coffee liqueur

Coffee liqueur

As always, be sure and test prior to and one and two hours after consuming any “new to you” recipes. Don’t drink and drive, heck don’t text and drive either.

 

 

 

Sushi and Nori, with Ham, oh my!

If you are of the belief that it still isn’t sushi without the nori, well then, call it by another name. The nori could care less what you call it as long as you’re not just letting it sit in the pantry.

The last time I typed about sushi, I think it was the freaking amazing blt sushi. Lately though, May has been on a ham and cheese kick. Her bento box normally contains a couple sliced rolls, a cheese stick, strawberries, and a bottle of water.

Let's call this one Sammich Sushi lol

Let’s call this one Sammich Sushi lol

If you’ve never rolled sushi (with or without rice), hit up youtube for some videos or just check out the directions on the back of the nori pack. Sushi mats are fairly inexpensive at ethnic stores.

Sammich Sushi

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 slices sandwich type, deli style, what have you ham (turkey, chicken, and roast beef also taste quite nice)
  • 1 t mayo
  • 1 slice American cheese (or Swiss, pepper jack, you get my drift)
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • a little thinly sliced red onion

Place nori shiny side down onto your sushi mat. Spread mayo from 1/4″ up from the bottom to 1″ down from the top (the area you would normally use rice). If you are using pre-packaged sliced baked ham, place slices vertically side by side on nori, over the area you spread the mayo. If you are using circular or whatevs shaped slices, just cover the mayo with it. Fold cheese in half and place half on each slice of ham, towards the bottom, just above the bare area of nori. Next place lettuce on cheese and onion slices onto lettuce. Roll it up.

When you get to the end, dampen the bare nori with a little water. Finish rolling and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to overnight (I do overnight for the lunch box, easier to slice when it’s soft).

025

I cannot tell a lie. The other night whilst making May’s sushi, I made myself a little snack, YUM!

 

 

 

 

From garden to ranchero

One of my favorite lunches out is huevos rancherosĀ con chorizoĀ from Jose’s here in Greenbrier. The staff is always great, and if there isn’t a drama club field trip scheduled to do lunch for 25 at the same time you arrive, the service is spot on and the food never disappoints.

It had been a while since my hot husband and I had had a lunch date at Jose’s when I decided on Tuesday that it was too cruel for my taste buds, having kept them from that which they desired for so long. I decided “breakfast for dinner it is” and hit up google on the hunt of the next best thing, a recipe for ranchero sauce.

When you hit up google for a good rachero recipe, you quickly find that there are a gazillion of them, fresh tomato, canned tomato, vinegar, no vinegar, heck even Emeril Lagasse has a friggin’ ranchero sauce recipe.

Preferring to be a fly by the seat of my pants/what’s the worst that could happen kinda girl, I decided to just read a few recipes and then just freaking do it. I read Emeril’s, all recipes’, chow hound (maybe?), don’t remember all the ones I read, but my friend google always turns those linkydos purple, so I’ll know them when I see them again.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

The recipes with fresh tomatoes were out of the question. I already had three quarts of beautiful crushed tomatoesĀ needing to take a taste test, so I set a jar aside.

Some recipes called for bell peppers, most for jalepeƱos and lucky for my taste buds the plants out back were ripe for the pickin’. I picked one large green bell pepper and a couple of fat jalepeƱos. I then proceeded to gather my ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 fat jalepeƱos, seeded and chopped (this was quite mild, use more if you’d like)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 T cooking oil, I cook with bacon oil, feel free to use olive oil if you so desire.
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t ground chipotle red pepper
  • salt to taste

Heat skillet over medium and add cooking oil. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until veggies are softish and onions are translucent. AddĀ oregano,Ā crushed tomatoes, ground red pepper, and salt. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until sauce is thickened.

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The ranchero sauce was quite nice with some chrorizo and eggs. So nice, that last night I used it to make football shaped mini meatloaves for dinner.