Month: September 2009

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Who doesn’t love the tortilla. To get it out on the table, I am a fan of the corn tortilla. Large or small, flour or corn, the tortilla is a beautiful thing. If you have followed me for some time, you would know how often…

Ham and Potato Casserole

Ham and Potato Casserole

Ham is typically thought of as being served around the holidays, whether it be an Easter get together, or around Christmas time, however I am not a big believer in serving ham only once or twice a  year. Now sure, deli ham is always in…

The BLT Sandwich – Bacon Lettuce and Tomato

The BLT Sandwich – Bacon Lettuce and Tomato

Lately I have been craving a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. I think probably that is due because of the freshly picked tomatoes that have stared at me every day, asking me ‘What are you going to do with me?’.

Growing up, the BLT was always around. Typically, plain old white bread, toasted, served with a bit of mayonnaise, bacon, lettuce, and tomato, or heck, in my case Bacon and lettuce sandwich as I did not begin to really enjoy tomatoes until I was in my late twenties. Simple, and delicious. Not only is the BLT easy to make, but there is a satisfaction in every bite. There is something very comforting about the sandwich, probably because there is bacon on the sandwich, but I think there is more to it. So recently, I decided to take my tomato, and pair it with some great lettuce and some slow cooked bacon to make what I think, or should I say, what my wife thinks could be the best BLT sandwich she has ever had, and I think I agree with that.

LT Sandwich with Lemon Basil Mayonnaise Recipe
Ingredients: (Makes 2 sandwiches)

  • 6 slices of good bacon
  • 4 thick slices of cheese bread
  • 4 leaves of Boston lettuce (often referred to as Bibb, or Butterhead)
  • 1 large tomato, preferably from your garden, thick sliced, preferably 2 slices per sandwich
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • Salt and Pepper

Begin by heating  a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the bacon to the skillet, and sprinkle a bit of cracked pepper onto each slice of bacon. While this is cooking (roughly 15-20 minutes), make your lemon basil mayonnaise. To a small bowl add the mayonnaise, lemon zest, and chopped basil. Mix, and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare your sandwiches. Next, clean your lettuce, and make sure you dry it really well. Slice your tomatoes to your desired thickness. Turn your bacon, and continue to cook on the other side. I tend to cook my bacon, just until both sides are cooked through, but not too crisp, nor too fatty. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a plate lined with paper towel to let any fat drain.

Now it is time to toast the bread. I use a cheese bread not only because of the great flavor, but the cheese melts a bit when you toast it, and adds a really great texture. Spread the butter onto the slices of bread, only on one side. Toast these on another skillet until a nice, golden brown. The time we have been waiting for, the time to prepare and serve.

Take your toasted bread, using the toasted side as the outside of your sandwich, and smear about a tablespoon of the lemon basil mayonnaise onto the bread. Cut the bacon in half and layer the bottom of the bread with six slices of bacon. Top the bacon with lettuce, then tomato. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on top of the tomatoes. Take another piece of bacon and place on top of the tomatoes. To the remaining slice of bread, smear another tablespoon of the mayonnaise on to it, and place on the top, finalizing your BLT.

This BLT is something else. The flavor of the lemon basil mayonnaise is enough to rock your world, but the smokiness of the bacon, the buttery flavor of the lettuce, and the freshness from your garden, all on this cheese bread. Enough said. Make it and I can probably guarantee this might be one of your top ten sandwiches.

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich

Asian Pulled Pork Sandwich

You probably hear me say “Asian Style” something or another quiet a bit on this site. There is a reason for that, primarily being that “Asian Style” has some really great flavors. Typically garlic, ginger, chilies, honey, sesame oil, and other items like lime, lemongrass,…

Asian Noodles with Sesame Garlic Oil

Asian Noodles with Sesame Garlic Oil

If you love garlic, you will love this recipe, however just because it has one head of garlic, it is not overpowering. One of my wife’s favorite dishes, this pasta salad is sure to be a hit at your next get together. Smooth, minty, with…

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

I do not think I really experienced true smoked meat until I moved to Dallas, Texas in the mid-to-late 1990’s.  Maybe I should not say that, after all, my Dad did have a canister smoker while I was in high school and he would experiment with fresh fish, beef jerky (here and here), and some turkey from time to time. I do not really consider that true smoked meat however. You know what I am referring to right? Barbecue. Not grilling, but barbecue. Truly great smoked food. The real deal. I have been experimenting with smoking for nearly three or so years now, trying different woods for the smoked flavor, as well as different rubs. One thing about smoking any food though, you have to go low and slow; low heat, long time.

Wet Rub Brisket Recipe
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This past week I tried something a bit different for the rub, however. I typically do a dry rub, or a wet marinade, but this time around I thought I would combine the wet and the dry and see where that would take me. Let’s say it took me to another level, and a level that I loved being on. This really easy wet rub is a cinch to put together, and could be tried on a variety of meats, but I used it on some flat cut brisket, something I had been craving for some time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of flat cut brisket, keep the fat on
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed to a fine powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (say that 4 times)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 cups of cherry wood chips, soaked in water

Begin by adding the Worcestershire sauce to the crushed bouillon. Mix well. Use this to coat your brisket, rubbing it into the meat. Next, combine the dry ingredients, mixing well, and rub it all over the wet brisket. Seal in a ziplock bag and let this sit in the refrigerator while you prepare your smoker.

You have a few options when it comes to smoking. You can use a gas grill, and heat it on low, adding your smoke chips to some foil. You can do this in the oven as well. Me? I use the canister style smoker that I saw my Dad use while growing up, only due to the fact that my sister-n-law gave it to me for free as she thought it was a deep fryer. 🙂

Start by heating your coals in the bottom portion of the smoker. Then goes your water or liquid in the mid-section, then your grate, and cover. Once your coals are heated through, you can take the brisket out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature before placing on the grate. Place it on the grate, FAT side on the top. Cover, and let this go for about an hour. During this time, soak your wood chips. I used cherry wood. After about one hour, toss in some of the wood chips into the coals. This is the best, the smoke will start to build. You become entrenched with the smoke smell. It’s amazingly good. Do this about once an hour. This smoking process cooks the meat, as well as adds some great smoke flavor to the beef. After about 4 hours, remove it to a plate, and cover, letting it rest for about one hour. This process retains any of the juices.

Slice and serve. This goes great with sandwiches, homemade sauce, and can holds it own to any Texas barbecue.