Roasted Shishito Peppers

I’ve always been a fan of roasted peppers. There’s something about eating peppers raw (which I love by the way, especially Thai bird chilies), and eating them roasted. One of my favorite roasted peppers, and I am always a fan when eating Latino food and they plop one on my plate, is chiles toreados.  Chiles toreados is a roasted whole jalapeno pepper that is lightly oiled and salted, and when bitten into just screams deliciousness. The great thing about these roasted chiles is they may be a bit mild, medium, or pack a heck of a punch. Roasted shishito peppers is basically the same, however these are more on the milder side, allowing you to eat them as a snack.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Upon wandering around my grocery store this week, I noticed they had shishito peppers in bulk. Was I stoked? Heck yes. No one really carries shishito peppers around here, so I decided to grab a handful and check out the quality before purchasing them in bulk.

I took them home and roasted them. Were they good? No, they were excellent.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shishito peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp koshers salt, to taste

Start by heating a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, and let it stay on the burner for a few minutes, or until it starts to lightly smoke.

During this time, add the shishito peppers to a bowl, add in the oil and salt, and give it a good toss.

Add these to the hot skillet, and stir around. They will blister really quickly, and get a nice char in only a matter of a few minutes.

Roasted Shishito Peppers
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Once these are lightly charred, remove and serve immediately.

Gosh these things are great. Perfect to serve as an appetizer, along with some cold beer, these are seriously a real delight. Pick them up by the stem, and pluck the sucker in your mouth. Chomp and remove the stem. The fun part is that you may get a spicier one, but with that said, these are not too spicy, so don’t be afraid.

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The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

I don’t know about you but our vegetable garden is off the charts right now. Tomato plants are taller than I am and blooming like you won’t believe. We’ve picked our share of beans, peas, broccoli, napa cabbage, and berries. It’s a real pleasure to head to the yard every day and harvest what we can, and then prepare a meal with fresh produce. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than that, and I wish I had more land to plant four times the amount that we already have. With that said, it’s tomato season and that means a few things, but one important one. That is it’s BLT season, and I love that season. The BLT screams summer time grub to me, and as I love the basic BLT, I also love changing it up a bit. This is where the ultimate BLT comes into play. This BLT has avocado, and a great garlic hummus that holds everything together.

The Ultimate BLT Sandwich
The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of thick cut bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 slices of Nueske’s (or your favorite) thick cut bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped
  • 1 whole avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 4 slices of your favorite tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste

Super simple sandwich, and that’s what I love about this one, well, that and everything else that goes into it.

Start by smearing hummus on one piece of the lightly toasted bread. Smear the mashed avocado on the other slice of bread.

Top the hummus with the lettuce, then the bacon, then the tomato slices.

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado and Hummus Sandwich
Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado and Hummus Sandwich

Top with the sliced bread with the avocado smear, smear down, and then give a gentle push on the sandwich, binding all of the ingredients.

Now dig in. Open wide on this one. That lightly toasted bread gives great texture to the sandwich. Your bites include everything you want in a sandwich. Light garlic flavor from the hummus, and the creaminess of the avocado pairs so well with the awesomeness of the smokey bacon. This is a true winner of a sandwich. Try adding the hummus and avocado smear to your next BLT, and make it the ultimate BLT sandwich. Hope you enjoy!

The Ultimate BLT Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of thick cut bread, lightly toasted
  • 3 slices of Nueske’s (or your favorite) thick cut bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped
  • 1 whole avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup hummus
  • 4 slices of your favorite tomato
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by smearing hummus on one piece of the lightly toasted bread. Smear the mashed avocado on the other slice of bread.
  2. Top the hummus with the lettuce, then the bacon, then the tomato slices.
  3. Top with the sliced bread with the avocado smear, smear down, and then give a gentle push on the sandwich, binding all of the ingredients.

 

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Pickled Rhubarb

I’ve noticed a handful of restaurants around our area are offering great pickled vegetables as little sides. There is something about the pickled vegetables that really make many of the entrees shine. Something about the pickling that just cuts through the richness of any dish is right up my alley. As I noted in my rhubarb simple syrup post, I had picked up a bunch of rhubarb from my favorite farmers, and with some of the remaining rhubarb, I decided to pickle it and see how it was. Did I mention it was awesome?

Pickled Rhubarb Recipe
Pickled Rhubarb Recipe

Now you can use your favorite pickling recipe, but I find that the one I am going to share works pretty well. Feel free to balance out any sugar, salt, or other seasonings to your liking.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ribs of rhubarb, chopped into spears that will fit into your pickling jar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf

Start by adding the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water to saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook just until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Next, add in the bay leaf, fennel and mustard seeds, and the black peppercorns. Let this come to room temperature.

Pickled Rhubarb Ingredients
Pickled Rhubarb Ingredients

Next, add the rhubarb spears into your pickling jar.

Pour the pickling mixture into the jar and fill to the rim.

Cover with the lid, and place in the refrigerator. Now you can eat these in a few hours, but I think they really begin to shine after a few days. They are a bit sweet and tart which is what you would expect, but then you get the pickled flavor that just goes great with any rich type of food.

Have you tried pickled rhubarb, and if so, do you like it? For me, they were awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Pickled Rhubarb
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 jar
 
Ingredients
  • 3 ribs of rhubarb, chopped into spears that will fit into your pickling jar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water to saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook just until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Next, add in the bay leaf fennel and mustard seeds, and the peppercorns. Let this come to room temperature.
  3. Next, add the rhubarb spears into your pickling jar.
  4. Pour the pickling mixture into the jar and fill to the rim.
  5. Cover with the lid, and place in the refrigerator. Now you can eat these in a few hours, but I think they really begin to shine after a few days. They are a bit sweet and tart which is what you would expect, but then you get the pickled flavor that just goes great with any rich type of food.

 

 

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Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich

An old friend of mine recently sent me a picture, with words of excitement, of his smoked meatloaf. I always get excited about things like that, and it was funny that he sent it as it was on my list of things to make. With that said, I had recently updated my Weber kettle grill with the Smokenator 1000 (a product review will be posted in the near future). So as I was smoking a pork shoulder using this new accessory, I decided to whip up a quick meatloaf in a small pan, and smoke that as well, just to see how it would go. Holy moly, this friend was right. A perfect smoked flavor on what you know as a classic meatloaf, and one that was super tender and delicious. My wife and I had it for dinner this week, and just fell in love with it. She warmed it up and ate it as a classic meatloaf, and I decided to make a sandwich out of it, and let’s just say they were both phenomenal.

Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich Recipe

If you are busting out the smoker this week, give this one a shot. It was really great.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 3/4 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, diced
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • aluminum pan to fit the meat loaf
  • buns, optional
  • BBQ sauce, optional

Start by soaking the bread in the milk, then get a large mixing bowl out and add in the remaining ingredients.

Once the bread is soaked, add the bread to the mixture, and then using your hands, combine to make sure all of the ingredients are nicely incorporated, but not overly mixed.

Add the meatloaf into your aluminum pan, and place into your preheated smoker (mine was stable at around 235 degrees). Cover, and let this smoke for about 2 hours, or until your internal temperature of the meatloaf is at around 165 degrees. Once that internal temperature has been met, carefully remove the pan (careful as it is hot, and there are plenty of juices. I use a couple of pair of tongs to do this.)

How to smoke a meatloaf

 

Once the meatloaf has slightly cooled, remove it from the pan, and cut it into slices.

Again, I made mine into a sandwich, and lightly seared it on a nonstick skillet for a few minutes. I then slathered some of my favorite barbecue sauce on the bottom bun, topped with the smoked meatloaf, and garnished it with a pickle.

The end result is nothing short of amazing, and I’m glad my old friend nudged me to move a bit quicker to make the smoked meatloaf. I used apple wood chips for the smoke, and it left just the right amount of smoke to make this not only a great meatloaf, but an awesome sandwich to boot. Hope you enjoy!

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