Easy Loaded Baked Beans

Summer is almost over, and many of us in Wisconsin are starting to feel that gloom upon us. In all honesty my wife love summer, but love fall even more. We welcome fall with open arms but again sad to see summer weather retire. There are things I will miss during the summer months, in particular food, and one of those things is baked beans. Yes, I know… I can make baked beans all year round, and I do but for whatever reason baked beans just remind me of grilling outdoors, sitting around a smoker or eating smoked meat that has been cooked for 12 or more hours, or hanging out with family and friends. They almost are up there with sweet corn on the cob and garden tomatoes for me. The problem with baked beans in my family is that not really one of my kids, or my wife enjoy baked beans as much as I do.

So with a recent get together, I decided it was my time to make some easy loaded baked beans that not only I could enjoy but I knew that other party goers would enjoy as well. I was right about that as the majority of those beans were consumed during the party.

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Easy Loaded Baked Beans

These look like normal baked beans, but every spoonful results in simple, yet complex flavors that may have you question ‘What are in these things?’. Easy, and loaded, these are great to make before (or after) summer ends.

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz can of your favorite canned baked beans (Maple Cured for me)
  • 16 oz can original baked beans
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, grease reserved
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno (seeds optional), roasted in bacon grease, diced
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp Jufran Banana Ketchup (Filipino Ketchup)
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

Let’s start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in your bacon slices and your whole jalapeno pepper. Cook slowly to release the fat and to crisp up your bacon while at the same time cooking and charring your jalapeno pepper. You will want to blister the skin on the chili pepper throughout the time you cook your bacon.

During this time, prepare your remaining ingredients as the rest will go by rather quickly.

Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a paper lined plate, along with the jalapeno. Keep the skillet on medium heat, and add in the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes or so until they soften.

Easy Baked Beans Ingredients
Easy Baked Beans Ingredients

While the onion is cooking, chop up your bacon, and your jalapeno. Once the onion is softened, add in the cans of beans, jalapeno, and bacon, and give that a good stir. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, then squirt on the mustard, worchestershire sauce, and Filipino ketchup.

If you have never had or tried Filipino ketchup, go find it. I love this stuff. To me it is not as sweet as regular ketchup and actually provides some little kick to it.

Give another good stir, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes until everything jives, and gets a bit sticky. Taste and season with any salt or black pepper to your liking.

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Easy Loaded Baked Beans

Serve into a bowl, and provide to your family and friends.

The result is a great bowl of beans, and one that has some mysterious flavors. Sure you can get that flavor of bacon, and see the onions and jalapenos, but they might have your friends and family guessing on those wonderful mustard and ketchup flavors. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and hope you enjoy the beans!

Easy Loaded Baked Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 32 oz can of your favorite canned baked beans (Maple Cured for me)
  • 16 oz can original baked beans
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, grease reserved
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno (seeds optional), roasted in bacon grease, diced
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp Jufran Banana Ketchup (Filipino Ketchup)
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Let’s start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in your bacon slices and your whole jalapeno pepper. Cook slowly to release the fat and to crisp up your bacon while at the same time cooking and charring your jalapeno pepper. You will want to blister the skin on the chili pepper throughout the time you cook your bacon.
  2. During this time, prepare your remaining ingredients as the rest will go by rather quickly.
  3. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and place on a paper lined plate, along with the jalapeno. Keep the skillet on medium heat, and add in the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes or so until they soften.
  4. While the onion is cooking, chop up your bacon, and your jalapeno. Once the onion is softened, add in the cans of beans, jalapeno, and bacon, and give that a good stir. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, then squirt on the mustard, worchestershire sauce, and Filipino ketchup.
  5. If you have never had or tried Filipino ketchup, go find it. I love this stuff. To me it is not as sweet as regular ketchup and actually provides some little kick to it.
  6. Give another good stir, reduce the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes until everything jives, and gets a bit sticky. Taste and season with any salt or black pepper to your liking.

 

Mayonnaise Grilled Potatoes

I know it drives my wife a bit nutty when she opens the refrigerator and sees a couple of shelves of condiments. See I grew up on condiments. My parents were condiment junkies, obsessed with what was new, and what varietal there was with things like mustards, ketchups, and mayonnaise. That’s probably where I got my own issues when it comes to going down a couple of aisles in the grocery store. I ALWAYS stop and look at different barbecue sauces, ketchups, olives, mayonnaises, etc. You get the point. But I have gotten better over the years, and sure, if my wife says to go get a second refrigerator, I’m sure my flood gate would open and that second refrigerator would start to load up on different condiments.

But my narrowing it down, I have came down to three mayonnaises that I truly love and will need no other, other than homemade. Hellmans, Duke’s, and Kewpie.  My wife and kids are not fans of mayonnaise all together, with the exception of including it in things like potato salad, and this particular recipe inspired me to get the awesomeness in mayonnaise embedded into some grilled potatoes without them knowing of course.

Mayonnaise Grilled Potatoes Recipe
Mayonnaise Grilled Potatoes Recipe

I know when you think mayo, and grilling, that you may think ‘grosse’, but trust me on this one, it’s pretty rad. The mayonnaise actually creates not only flavor (and great flavor at that), but great crust and texture. Think of using mayonnaise beyond sandwiches and potato salads, and using it as a marinade for all of your grilling needs.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Baked potatoes, washed
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise per potato
  • salt, to taste
  • sliced scallions, optional

That’s it. Really simple stuff going on here for your grilling needs.

Start slicing your cleaned baked potatoes about 1 inch thick, about 3/4 of the way down. You still want them to remain in tact, but not fall apart. This is much like a hassleback potato, but a thicker slice.

Next, lather the mayonnaise all over, and into the crevices, of the potato. Season with salt.

Now you can do these in the oven if you desire and you can roast these as you normally would, but my grill was going that day and I decided to lay these on the grill for some additional flavor. However you decided to cook them, just cook them until fork tender.

Mayonnaise Crusted Baked Potatoes
Mayonnaise Crusted Baked Potatoes

Once cooked, place these on serving plate and shower with some fresh scallions.

If you are looking for different ways to use mayonnaise, give these mayonnaise crusted baked potatoes a try. I know next time, I will be grilling some up and lathering some mayonnaise onto them once they come off the grill! Hope you enjoy.

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce, or simply a ‘special sauce’ is probably the easiest thing to make and typically served with french fries. I think fry sauce can pretty much go on anything, including burgers, and fries of which I did. Fry sauce is a classic sauce and has been around for ages. Think of it as somewhat of a Russian dressing. The simplicity is essentially a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, but I add a couple of different twists making this fry sauce super addicting one.

Fry Sauce Recipe
Fry Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started on this excellent condiment.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp your favorite hot sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • hot fries, optional

Add everything but the hot fries to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for later use.

How to make fry sauce
How to make fry sauce

When you are ready to serve, drizzle onto your hot fries (I used roasted garlic and rosemary baby yukon potatoes), or serve on the side. I also smeared a generous amount onto my grilled burger. Talk about simplicity at its finest, and a delicious tang of a condiment to boot. If you are looking for all of that, give this one a shot, and feel free to double the amount for later use. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Biscuits

I recently told my wife “This is the year of the biscuit”. I don’t know what got over me when I said that, but I meant what I said. I’ve been thinking of biscuits for some time now that I had to make some more attempts at trying to get the biscuit down. There are so many things you can do with a biscuit, and hence why I probably said that to my wife, everything from sweet and savory. What is not to love about that? Ever since I lived in Dallas, there was one thing that has never left my mind (besides the friendships I made) and that is the love of biscuits and gravy. That is probably another reason why I am making an attempt at creating some really good biscuits.

Homemade Biscuits Recipe
Homemade Biscuits Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled but not frozen, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • Ring cutter, cut to about 3/4 inch thick

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Start by mixing the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Once mixed gently add in the butter, and slowly begin pouring in the milk. You want to form a somewhat firm dough, but not too firm.

Gently roll the dough onto a lightly flour surface, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Use a glass, or if you have a kitchen ring mold, and press down into the dough to shape your biscuit. Continue with however many biscuits you can get away with. Mine yielded 5 biscuits.

Homemade Biscuits
Homemade Biscuits

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove onto a wired rack, or onto a serving plate, and dig in.

These were a perfect side dish to some homemade barbecue ribs, and with a bit of butter they were even better. Now I have to teach my kids how to make these as they would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Hope you enjoy!

Onion Jam

There have been massive amounts of great looking, and big onions at our local farmers market lately. A couple of my kids love them, and in all honesty I find some joy in slowly cooking onions for a long period of time. Maybe it’s the perfume of the onions that scent my house, or maybe it is the slicing of the onion into thin shreds. Who knows, but at the end of the day I simply love onions. So I bought a big old white onion from the market, and as I laid my purchases on my kitchen counter, I began to think of what to make with some of these items. My daughter loves ‘grandma’s dip’ whenever we go to their house. It’s basically store bought french onion dip, and that is what sparked my thought. Maybe (just maybe) I would make a french onion style dip for her, but you know with a twist, and an umami one at that.

That’s when the onion jam came into play.

Onion Jam Recipe
Onion Jam Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 very large onion, thinly sliced
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated on a rasp or microplane
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Start as you normally would when caramelizing onions. Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat, add the butter, and add in your onions. Shower the onions with a generous pinch of salt, then let the games begin.  The goal is to cook these nice and slow, until they are a nice golden color.

This process can take about 40 minutes, or longer, but be patient and stir throughout the process.

Once you achieve a golden color, then it is time to add in your garlic and allowing that to cook a minute or two, stirring the garlic into the onions.

Onion Jam Ingredients
Onion Jam Ingredients

After a minute or two, add in the cracked black pepper, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice. Give the mixture a good stir, raise the heat just a bit, and cook another minute or two.

Remove the onions from the heat, place them in a bowl, and let them come to room temperature.

The real kicker here is the fish sauce and lime. Those two escalate these onions to a whole new level, and the result is nothing but pure deliciousness.  I’ve yet to mix this into a dip for my daughter as I have been using it on sandwiches, but let it be told I will be making her one of her favorite dips in the near future! Hope you enjoy.

BBQ Baked Salmon

I’m a huge fan of salmon. Whether it is baked, grilled, or smoked, there is something about the texture and flavor that keeps me coming back for more. On a recent stop at my local grocery store, the butcher had asked if I checked out their salmon as it was on sale, and was going fast. I was quick to respond and decided to pick up over a pound of a salmon filet. The color was perfect and it smelled fresh, so I went all in. I typically coat my salmon in mustard and use various spices, but this time I decided to try another approach and go with a barbecue based rub, and holy moly was it ever good.

BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe
BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe

This recipe is way too easy to make, and not only does it yield quite a bit to feed several people but it is delicious to boot.

Ingredients:

  • ~ 1lb salmon filet
  • 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce
  • parchment paper, optional

Yep, that’s it. Simple. Delicious. Nutritious.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

Add parchment paper to a baking sheet (I find it much easier for cleanup). Take the salmon filet, skin side down, and rub it all over with your favorite barbecue sauce. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s as it was simple, and not too spicy for my family. Let this set in for about 15 minutes, then place the onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 35 minutes, or cooked until the right temperature, about 145 degrees internal.

BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe
BBQ Baked Salmon Recipe

Once you hit 145 degrees, remove from the oven and let the salmon rest for about 10 minutes before digging in.

This salmon was irresistible and my youngest daughter could not resist. I think she even ate this for lunch, and dinner! Yes, it was that good. If you are looking for a simple salmon recipe, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Lemongrass Chicken

It’s official, well it’s been official, it’s finally grilling season in Wisconsin. Not that I haven’t been grilling all year long, but the weather is finally getting a lot more nice in Wisconsin. So this past Mother’s day weekend was full of cooking for my loved one(s). As we progressed into the weekend, I decided to use up a bag of frozen lemongrass I had. I’m trying to purge my freezer and use up lots of yummy leftovers. As I was thinking of what to make with the lemongrass (I always have Thai on my mind when it comes to lemongrass), I decided on making a lemongrass infused oil, and use that for grilling a spatchcocked whole chicken. The lemongrass infused oil was phenomenal, but a simple marinade was also created to make this Thai lemongrass chicken even better.

Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe
Thai Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.

Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients
Lemongrass Chicken Ingredients

To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.

Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass and garlic. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.

Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.

Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Thai Lemongrass Chicken

Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

The end result is really, really great chicken. You are left with not only a garlic flavored chicken, but one that has the subtle hints of a lemon-lime and ginger flavor from the awesome lemongrass infused oil. It was a hit, and a great start to the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Ingredients for the lemongrass oil:
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Ingredients for the Thai Lemongrass Chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • small handful of cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your chicken. To a small mixing bowl, add in the ingredients for the Thai lemongrass chicken, with the exception of the chicken, and mix well. Rub the marinade all over the chicken. Cover and place into the refrigerator, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. During this time, make the lemongrass infused oil.
  3. To a food processor, add the lemongrass. Pulse and blend until you have broken down the lemongrass. Take a good smell. I love that smell.
  4. Heat a small pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil, and add in the shredded lemongrass. Cook this on medium low heat for about 40 minutes. Then strain the oil into a container. Reserve for grilling, and for later use.
  5. Before grilling, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and set it on the counter, allowing it to take the chill off.
  6. Heat up your grill. Again, I use charcoal and some wood chunks, but use what you got. The goal is to cook it over indirect heat as you do not want a burnt chicken. So when you are ready, set the chicken on the grill grate, and cook for about 40 minutes, brushing with the lemongrass infused oil during the grill period. Cook until your meat thermometer reads a safe temperature.
  7. Plate, and shower with sliced green onions and additional cilantro if desired.

 

Smoked Beef Brisket

A Costco was recently opened in our neighborhood, and the place is massive. My wife and I are not members (yet), but my father-in-law is and he invited us to join him. I have heard nothing but good things about this place, and as I was familiar with Sam’s Club, I was interested walking around, not knowing what I would purchase.  I did not realize this place offered so much stuff, and in particular I was pleasantly surprised with their meat department. A few minutes in and I had a cart full of stuff, including a huge beef brisket. I typically only find flats in our stores, and they are super expensive, but this one at Costco had the flat and point, and it was huge, and super affordable. That alone was worth the trip.

I was jazzed to make another attempt at smoking this beef brisket, and well pretty darn excited to boot.

Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe
Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

Beef brisket is one of those cuts that, in my opinion, are sometimes tough to make, but when done right it is probably the best slice of beef you may ever have. I think I nailed it, not only in getting the awesome smoke ring, but this cut like butter and was super tender.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 11 lb beef brisket, fat trimmed
  • salt, to lightly coat
  • cracked black pepper, to lightly coat
  • Your favorite wood for smoking meats
  • aluminum foil

Start by trimming all of the fat. It’s ok to leave a little bit, but you pretty much want it off. Pay attention where the flat and the point meet, and get your knife in there and trim all of that out.

This process alone took me about 35 minutes. No lie.

Once you have the fat, feel free to save it for a later use, such as grinding into meat for making sausages, or discard.

Generously season all sides of the beef brisket with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. I then sealed mine in a large bag and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

How to smoke a beef brisket
How to smoke a beef brisket

Before you are ready to smoke, take the brisket out of the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature, roughly 30 minutes or so.

During this time, get your smoker ready. I use a Weber charcoal grill for my smoker, lining hot coals on one side, and drip pans, full of water, in the center.

My coworker sold me some digital probes for taking temperature for the meat, as well as the inside of the smoker, and when I put my brisket on, it was hovering around 270 degrees, and my brisket cooked at that temperature for probably 30 minutes until I got the temperature down to about 245 degrees. I smoked that for about 6 hours, then wrapped it in foil and cooked for about another 8 hours around 190 degrees. Low and slow if you will.

Once I had the internal temperature set to around 190 degrees then it is time to pull it off the smoker. I let my beef brisket rest for about 40 minutes before slicing into it. Slicing is the moment of truth, and truth be told mine was perfect. I was left with a great outer bark, and great smoke ring, and moist and tender. I was stoked. You can use this for sandwiches, eat as is, or even quesadillas! Costco now has me sold and we are now most likely getting a membership for the brisket alone. Hope you give this one a shot, and wish you all the best in smoking a brisket!

Mexican Alambre

You know when you have that craving for tacos, or better yet fajitas? Yeah, I know, I pretty much have that craving all of the time! This dish, known as alambre, is a popular Mexican dish that should be on everyone’s menu, but is not. This Mexican alambre is a mix of beef, bacon, peppers, and cheese, topped with avocados and limes, only to be folded into nicely grilled flour tortillas. This feeds an army and is packed full of awesome flavors and textures, that I’m positive will have you making this more than once.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Alambre, in Spanish, literally translates to ‘wire’ and I suspect that it could be due to the fact that meats and vegetables were skewered and grilled before getting chopped up and folded into tacos. Regardless, I simply throw things on the grill to get a nice char before slicing and serving.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon,  cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional

Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.

To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree.  Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

Mexican Alambre
Mexican Alambre

When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)

Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.

While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.

Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.

Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.

Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!

Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.

Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.

Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

This was a great meal to serve at the table. The kids loved the interactivity (and the rocking flavors), and it was a great conversation piece. My oldest, who typically does not like melted cheese (especially on tacos), nor peppers, was spooning this into about 4 tacos. I think he loved this Mexican alambre, and I’m certain you will to! Enjoy.

Mexican Alambre
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.
  2. To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree. Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
  3. When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)
  4. Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.
  5. While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about ¼ cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.
  6. Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.
  7. Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.
  8. Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!
  9. Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.
  10. Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.
  11. Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.
  12. Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

 

Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty exhausted from the Thanksgiving holiday. As normal, I spent hours in the kitchen cooking up the feast which included a green bean casserole, creamed corn, gravy, a dry brined turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, and this thing of beauty; Franklin’s smoked turkey breast. My colleague turned me onto this recipe and he swore by it. Whenever someone who cooks gets that excited about something, I figured it was worth a shot, and boy was this one ever delicious. As a matter of fact, many said it was probably their favorite, along with my Thanksgiving sausage stuffing.

This turned out awesome, and as I cannot compare as I’ve never had the honor to get to Austin, Texas to try Franklin’s BBQ, I can tell you that this was fall apart tender with just the right amount of smoke.

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)

Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.

Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.

Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker! 

How to make Franklin's BBQ smoked turkey breast
How to make Franklin’s BBQ smoked turkey breast

Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

This smoked turkey breast was so tender and juicy from cooking in that butter, and it was perfectly seasoned. I served mine on a couple of toasted buns, along with some barbecue sauce and pickles. I will definitely be making this again and again, plus it is perfect to serve during any holiday season. Hope you enjoy!

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.
  2. Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.
  3. Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker!
  4. Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.
  5. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.