Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sweet Dark Cherry Chipotle Bacon Jerky

I love beef jerky and bacon is a close second. Actually it’s a tie, I like bacon and beef jerky so much that I decided to combine my culinary desires into this obvious choice. I stepped up this kitchen dichotomy a notch with creating a custom sweet dark cherry chipotle seasoning for the marinade and flavoring. I started off marinating delicious thick cut apple smoked bacon along with a special blend of dry spices and seasonings including chopped chipotle chilis in adobo sauce.

This recipe is an amalgamation of various recipes and techniques. I found that boiling the meat before dehydrating really helped on this one because I feel that the flavors infused nicely and the marinade ended up caramelizing beautifully as well to make this more of a candied bacon jerky.

My words can only begin to describe how truly amazingly tender the texture was and how sweet and flavorful this turned out to be. I am already marinating the second batch as I write this.

Sweet Dark Cherry Chipotle Bacon Jerky is definitely one of the most delicious and decadent snacks I have made in a while and I would definitely consider this something that you could easily get carried away with. So please remember that this culinary decadence is only to be made in small batches, shared with many and enjoyed sparingly.

1. Gather all the dry seasonings including salt, chili powder, brown sugar, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl.

2. Chop up your chipotle peppers and muddle the cherries before you add them to the mix.

Once you have mixed everything together completely throw this marinade and your bacon strips in a plastic bag. Massage the marinade throughout your bacon and allow this to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

 4.  You will then want to boil your bacon with the marinade for about 6 minutes to cook off some of the bacon fat and reduce the marinade to more of a glaze. (You will also ensure an internal meat temperature of at least 160 degrees to be safe. I did this with a surface reading thermometer and an instant read thermometer.)

 5.     Place the strips well spaced in a dehydrator on the highest setting of at least 160 degrees for about 10 hours (drying the bacon and flipping a few times towards the later part of the ten hours).

 6.     Make sure to pat your bacon dry with a paper towel and either enjoy right away because it is  amazing or save it in a mason jar with a silica gel packet to keep everything fresh to enjoy later.

-12 oz. Applewood smoked thick cut bacon
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tbsp. Himalayan cracked salt
-1/2 tbsp chili powder
-1 tsp. black pepper
-1 tsp. onion powder
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-4 oz. of canned dark cherries in glaze

-2 chopped chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bacon Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

So now that I had an entree and a side dish put together I decided to find something else to balance everything out. This recipe I found for some buttermilk mashed potatoes sounded good. I had some bacon too so I decided to upgrade this recipe a little bit. 

Bacon and mashed potatoes are already a great combination, but this recipe takes everything to the next level of flavor. Here with some extra butter and buttermilk these were extremely creamy and decadent. This is definitely not something you want to eat everyday unless you plan on running daily marathons. Well, you might want to, but it wouldn't be recommended.

I found this recipe to be so easy and delicious that I’ll have to make this again sometime soon though.

The recipe

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-3


1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes (Yukon or russet)
1/4 cup of milk
4 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/2 tsp. of fresh cracked black pepper
1 chopped green onion for garnishing


      1.  Place potatoes in large pan covered with two quarts of water. Bring everything to a boil and simmer for around twenty-five to thirty minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
       2. Melt the butter into the milk in a small saucepan and have ready for when you take your potatoes off the stove.

      3. Once your potatoes are tender, remove them from the stove and peel them. Cut them into quarters and start mashing.

      4. Add the milk and butter mixture as you keep mashing everything together. Now add the salt, pepper and buttermilk and whisk everything together.

      5. Once everything starts getting creamy you can throw in the bacon and then garnish your serving plate with the chopped green onion and some extra bacon if you’d like.

    (I adapted this recipe from one I found here.)

Southern Style Coleslaw

Since I had made some shredded beef sandwiches I decided they could use a good side dish. After doing some research I found this recipe for coleslaw that was basically a lot like the one from KFC. I have always loved KFC’s coleslaw, so now that I knew that I could make this at home I had to try it for myself.

This recipe wasn't all that complicated once I got started, you just have to mostly spend a little bit of time doing some shredding and then it all comes together very quickly. I cut down the sugar from a third of a cup down to about a sixth and it tastes excellent.

This is a ridiculously good for a side dish that I was able to throw together in under fifteen minutes. Also not only is this fresher than if I went out and bought it, I even saved a little bit of money by making this at home. I will definitely be making this again really soon.

The recipe

Serves: 10-12

Time: 15 minutes


1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup of milk
8 cups of finely chopped cabbages (approximately 1 head of cabbage)
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of buttermilk
1 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup of shredded carrots (approximately 1 medium carrot)
2 tbsp. of minced green onions
1/6 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice


1. Shred the cabbage and carrots and put them into a large bowl.

      2.  Now to make the sauce all you do is combine the sugar, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix everything until you have a smooth sauce.

      3.  Combine the cabbage, carrots, and minced onions in a bowl with the sauce you have made.

      4.  Stir everything until it’s evenly coated with your sauce. Refrigerate in a covered bowl for two hours.

      5. It’s now ready to serve. Enjoy this with some savory meats.

      (I adapted this recipe from one I found here.)

BBQ Shredded Beef Sandwiches

I liked the pulled pork so much from the other day that I decided to find another good recipe for the slow cooker. I came across this incredibly easy recipe for some shredded beef. It has a total of three ingredients which sounded perfect. I made the five minute trip to the store and got the few things I would need.

The recipe sounded good as is, but I just did some little tweaks to it. I switched out the onions for some red onions and used a honey BBQ sauce so it would be a little sweeter. I also added a few extra hours to the beef with the BBQ sauce to help the sauce get a little reduced and sweeter. This also gave the beef more time to just soak up all of those sweet and smoky flavors.

Before I knew it I was eating some delicious BBQ shredded beef sandwiches that almost cost me nothing to make and tasted unbelievable.

The recipe

Serves: 6-8

Time: 11 1/2 hours


1 red onion (thinly sliced)
2 lbs. of boneless beef brisket (trim off the excess fat)
1 bottle of sweet BBQ sauce
6-8 hamburger buns


1. Coat the inside of the crock-pot with a nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cut the beef into large chunks and remove the excess fat. Add the beef and onions in layers to your crock-pot.

3. Remember to start with some of the onions on the bottom.  Turn the crock-pot on high for eight hours.

4. After eight hours your beef should be shredding very easily. At this point you want to add your BBQ sauce and mix it into your beef.

5. Set the crock-pot on low for three hours.

6.  Try to be careful since this will be really hot after eleven hours of cooking. Now just toast up some hamburger buns and serve them with the BBQ shredded beef.

(I adapted this recipe from this one here.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sweet BBQ Empanadas

Empanadas are already such a delicious food by themselves and so is BBQ pulled pork. Combining them makes for an unbelievably delicious, savory and sweet snack. I had some pulled pork from the other day and I got some flour for making tortillas to do this.

Empanadas are a little tricky at first to put together. I had never even tried to do this before but I figured since I had seen it done on T.V.  that I should be able to handle this. They ended up being tasty even if they didn’t look perfect for my first batch of empanadas.

Once I got them frying up, the smell was unbelievably good. I quickly threw together a few more after the first one was started and ended up eating a few of these before I could even leave the kitchen. I have never had a better snack made from leftovers. I would actually probably make the pulled pork just to make these again. If you like empanadas and BBQ pork, you have to try this recipe.

The recipe

Time: 8 minutes. (Assuming you have the pulled pork made. If not, click here for that recipe.)

Serves: 2-3


Use pulled pork recipe 1/2 cup for filling
2 cups of masa 
2 1/4 cups of warm water.

Directions :

      1.  Combine the masa and warm water in a small bowl and knead for about 4 minutes.
      2.  Put a small ball of masa on a lightly oiled plastic sheet or bag. Flatten it out to approximately 3 inches.
c    3.  Separately warm the pulled pork in a small frying pan for around 3 minutes on low.
            4. Now grab teaspoons of pulled pork for each empanada. The bag or sheet of plastic makes it easy to just fold the masa. Then you just take a fork and lightly press down the edges.
        5. Fry them on medium heat until they are golden brown on each side.
      6. Dry them on folded napkins and then serve.

Monday, July 9, 2012

BBQ Brown Sugar Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The other day I was feeling hungry for some BBQ so I started to look online for some recipes. I ended up finding this slow cooker recipe for some pulled pork that looked like it would be really good. However, I didn’t have the root beer the recipe called for so I decided to make a few little changes. When I was finished, I could barely stop eating the results.

Anyways, to get things started on these delicious sandwiches there’s really not much work.  First, I made a quick marinade for the pork shoulders. This had some brown sugar and spices that really helped the meat get a lot of flavor in the first half of the cooking. Then in the second half of the cooking the brown sugar BBQ sauce with the finely chopped red onions I threw in caramelized really well.

Slow cookers are amazing in that you can basically have food prepare itself while you watch movies or browse the web. On top of being convenient I have always found that slow cookers can turn a regular cut of meat into a tender, delicious meal by letting the meat cook in all those flavors and juices for hours. This recipe was no exception and I ended up with meat that had really soaked up all those sweet, caramelized flavors and was very easy to shred.

The recipe

Serves: 8-10

Time: 10  1/2 hours           


2 lbs. of pork shoulder

For the marinade and first half of cooking:
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup water

For the second half of cooking:
1 chopped red onion
1 bottle of BBQ sauce (I used a sweet sauce with brown sugar, but you can substitute in your favorite one.)


1. Cut the pork shoulder into pieces. I removed a lot of the excess fat, although a lot of it can be drained off after the first stage of cooking.

2.  Put the pork into bags for the marinade and add the chili powder, black pepper, salt, garlic, brown sugar and water.

3. After mixing everything around and getting your pork covered in the marinade put it into your slow cooker and cook on high for 7 hours.

4. Remove the excess liquids and fat. Then add the chopped red onion and mix in the bottle of barbecue sauce.

5. Cook on low for 3 hours.

6. Serve on lightly toasted buns.

(I adapted this from the recipe at this link: )

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pan-fried Artichokes

Artichokes can definitely look like a challenge to eat with all those spikes but you'd be surprised by how savory and delicious of a meal you can make with these. I myself had never tried to make these until recently thinking that it would be too complicated. But once I got started I found that this recipe turned out to be a lot easier and delicious than I could have ever thought was possible.

In less than half an hour I had some delicious pan-fried artichokes. These turned out to be great just on their own since they were cooked in butter and garlic for a little while. They didn’t even need the sauce, but the custom sauce I made for this meal really helped bring out the flavors of the artichokes.

The sauce had a little bit of a spicy kick to it and helped round out the dish really well. All in all, I was really impressed by how easy and quick this was to make after I had heard so much about artichokes.

The recipe

Serves: 1-2

Time: 30 minutes           


4 baby artichokes
1 clove of garlic
¼ stick of butter
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
¼ of a glass of lemon juice


1.  For the artichokes you will just have to remove the stem, tough outer leaves and 1/3 of the tops. Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the chokes. Have a cup of cold water mixed with that 1/4 glass of lemon juice to throw your artichokes in. This will help keep them looking fresh.
2. Then chop the garlic finely, let it heat up with a 1/3 of the butter you have.
3. After 5 minutes add your artichokes flat side down. Cook them for about another 5 minutes and flip them over again.  Add the rest of your butter.
4.  Now you will have to cook them for another 5 minutes before flipping them over and letting them cook for a final 7 minutes.
5. The sauce is really easy to make and you can prepare it while you keep an eye on your artichokes. Just combine the mayonnaise, salt, chili powder and black pepper.
6. Now just top your pan-fried artichokes with some of that sauce and enjoy them.

I adapted this idea from one I found here: