Archive for January, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011 @ 06:01 PM

Even if you have planned your Superbowl apps & entree, you still need a great dessert. Chili cheese dip, chips, onion dip, cheese, cracker, pretzels. You have your deep fryer going for wings, the slow cooker filled with chili, you may even be using your grill or broiler. After the food is all eaten you need a recipe for a hearty dessert to complement your menu or just a  sweet yet savory addition to your entree menu.

Here is a great one to add:

Krittor’s Sweet Tator Pie:

4 to 6 sweet potatoes

8 cinnimon sticks

1 or 2 bottles of dark beer

4 cloves of garlic

1lb. of thick cut bacon

2lbs of sweet Italian sausage

2 tsp. of vanilla

2lbs of cream cheese

Peel tators and slice about 1/4 inch thick (cut like tator chips) Put in a zip lock bag.

Mix beer , garlic cloves , vanilla.

Pour over cinnamon sticks and tators in the zip lock. Let set in fridge for about 4 hours.

Cook an drain Italian sausage

Lay down bacon in the bottom of a 9x 13 baking pan (one layer )

Strain tators (Don’t throw out the beer )

Lay slice of tators over the bacon.

Take the sausage and layer it over the tators.

Over that lay down another layer of tators.

Take an mix 2 cups of beer with the cream cheese.

Layer it on top of the tators then cover with foil an bake at 375 for bout 35 to 40 min (depends on how thick the tators are.)

Now you have a Krittor sweet tator pie.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011 @ 12:01 PM

We love it when our friend’s give us new recipes to try out or share with others. This recipe is from Mike aka. Krittor. His wife made the name, but the recipe was passed down from Grandma Krittor.

These would be great tailgating or just on the Brinkmann grill in the back yard. Goes well with fish , pork , chickens and beef!

Take 4 nice baking tators. Use a Phillips screwdriver and punch about 20 holes in each ( a fork won’t give a big enough hole )

Put tators in a zip lock bag.

Slice 2 cloves of garlic put them in the bag.

Take 2 bottles of dark beer. (Pour 1 or 2 in bag. Depends on the size of the tators.)

Let set over night or at least 4 hours.

Take tators out of the bag and strain the beer (Don’t throw the beer away!) Take the garlic and tator, wrap in bacon then wrap in foil.

If baking them on a grill use indirect heat. If in the oven bake at 375 degrees F. Bake until soft about 40 to 50 mins. then unwrap. Take bacon off and bake for about 4 to 6 more mins.

That’s the tators –

Here’s the best topping ever!

Take and chop up the bacon. Take 1 cup of the left over beer and 1 cup sour cream. Whisk together. Take 8 green olives, dice them and the garlic. Whisk them in.

Now you’ve you got a Krittor Krazy Baked Tators.

Doesn’t need salt, pepper, or butter!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011 @ 06:01 PM

I know that you should not drink alcohol and cook at the same time, especially when using a turkey fryer and hot oil. But when the cooking is all done, you, the cook, can let party time begin.

Tailgating is all about, friends, good times, good food, and great football, races, or even music. Alcohol, for adults, is fine in moderation at any of these functions. There is never any need to overindulge. Because then what is the point of even going. 9 times out of 10, if you are that inebriated, you won’t remember a thing and will probably ruin many other peoples’ day.

Beer and tailgate parties go hand in hand. Not everyone is a beer drinker though. Flavored vodkas are quite the rage now, and can make some very interesting, yet refreshing drinks. One of the newer ones recently added to the mixocolgy menu is bacon flavored vodka. For all of the meat lovers and bacon lovers in the world, Bakon Vodka, I would like to salute you. A bacon flavored bloody Mary just sounds completely awesome. I know that many other concoctions can be made with this savory flavored vodka, but how great is this? Besides, I have always found savory drinks to go better with grilled and smoked meats than sweet and fruity drinks.

There are many recipes that can be found on their site at bakonvodka.com. One that I would like to share from their site, was created by Desiree Holmes, from Chicago.

The Greek Martini

• 2 parts Bakon Vodka
• 1 part pepperoncini Juice
• one pepperoncini
• dash of pepper
• splash of Clamato juice.

Desiree, may I just say, that that drink sounds awesome & I plan on trying it as soon as I get my local liquor store to carry Bakon Vodka.

Here’s hoping that you are a Bears fan, and have made this drink for your friends tailgating on the blacktop.

If bacon is your thing, and you like to drink vodka occasionally, go to the Bakon Vodka site and find a location near you that carries this delectable drink.

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Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 08:01 PM

So…what will you be cooking for the Superbowl? Are you just making finger foods and appetizers? Having a big hero? Deep frying wings in your counter top deep fryer? Making a big pot of chili in your turkey fryer? Slow cooking ribs in your BBQ smoker?

Whatever you are doing, cooking or just participating, the Superbowl is an American passtime. Even if you aren’t a football fan…odds are you will be watching the game, even if it is just for the commercials. Many people partake…even if they aren’t true fans. Even if it is not for the game or the commercials…odds are you’re in it for the food and the party.

No matter what you decide to do…have fun, be safe, eat hearty, and let’s hope for a good game!!!! !

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011 @ 06:01 PM

Well…I’ve heard many people complaining. I like the snow.

Since I was a kid here on Long Island, I don’t know if the global warming was already taking effect or what, but snow and cold winters were not the norm. I have heard stories from my Pop and others of my elders, talking about ice skating on local ponds and being able to walk far out on the Great South Bay. Ice sailing on Lake Ronkonkoma was a normal thing.

I know that we are somewhat protected here, due to the warm gulf stream waters, but the weather has certainly been odd this year. For the past 40 years, I remember some snow, but usually a blast in February. It was usually due to a blast of Canadian cold jet stream and we would have that snow on the ground for 2 weeks, then it was spring. We never had a white Christmas. There was a white Christmas eve once, but by morning the snow was gone. I remember being able to skate on local ponds, every other year or so. I only really remember the bay freezing hard enough once, that cars were able to drive on the surface. Lake Ronkonkoma freezing hard enough for ice boats is few and far between.

We have had more snow in one winter, so far, than I remember in all of my life. Maybe the global warming has finally taken effect, and the glaciers are melting into the ocean and screwing uo the normal gulf stream pattern.

As I said…I like the snow. I have lived away from here, the land of 4 seasons. I have lived in a 3 season climate and a basic 2 season climate. I prefer the 4..thank you.

Anyway, a basic review of home supplies and outdoor cooking equipment should be a given. You need to be able to cook food or boil water (or snow) in the event of a power loss. Loss of power can last for days. Having a propane or charcoal grill, propane turkey fryer, or other outdoor cooking equipment is necessary. Always make sure that you have extra propane or a bag of charcoal on hand. Yeah, I know, its winter in the Northeast. No barbeques. Why do you need a full tank of propane or charcoal. Let alone finding a store that stocks charcoal in winter. Well, say you have an electric stove…the power goes out. How are you going to cook?

Just some thoughts to keep in mind as we head into the middle of winter. The day after tomorrow…could really be the day after tomorrow.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 07:01 PM

I love my old cast iron cookware. I use it all the time.I have a 100 year old Griswold skillet that I use all the time. It is just as good today, as the day that I found it in a thrift store in Seattle, Wa. I have now added more skillets, a Dutch oven, assorted griddles, a cast iron wok. I love the stuff. Cast iron was one of the greatest inventions that man kind ever came up with.

I do love the new school technology that I have around the house. Some of you might not consider some of this stuff new school, but compared to some of the old time cookware and equipment that I have in my kitchen, it is definitely new technology.

Getting an indoor counter top deep fryer was quite a time saver. Having a unit that has a heat gauge and a heat regulator are great.  I used to deep fry everything on the stove top. I know that you can’t walk away from a counter top deep fryer either, but you don’t have to stand right on top of it, like a stove top deep fryer.

My food processor is a God-send to someone like me. I have been working with my hands all of my life. Coming home after working all day and cutting and chopping has wreaked havoc on my carpal tunnel syndrome. I have a hand mixer…I know…old school, but for someone that used to do everything by hand…this stuff is great.

I now have an immersion blender. What fun that little kitchen gadget is! No more pouring stuff into my standard blender. Then pouring it back.

My next big thing will be a counter top mixer. First I need to move so that I have a counter big enough for a counter mixer.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

As I have stated before, using a properly cared for and properly seasoned piece of cast iron cookware, it can last for generations. I have a deep, cast iron skillet with a lid that must be around 100 years old. I use it all the time. It has moved with me countless times and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It is priceless to me. Don’t get me wrong. I have tried and had other non-stick cookware in my house from time to time. I don’t care how well you care for them, they do get scratched and pitted over time. Then they become throw away pans. There is no chance to re-coat them with non-stick. Unlike cast iron that can be re-seasoned anytime.

My mother had a cast iron Dutch oven that she used and abused. Not for cooking mind you, she used it as a humidifier in the winter time. We had a wood burning stove that she kept the Dutch oven on top, filled with water, all winter long. When warmer weather came, the Dutch oven was stored, haphazardly, and over the years, it oxidized, became what looked like a worthless piece of junk. I inherited this Dutch oven when my Mom moved away. (She was going to throw it out.) I have salvaged the cast iron pot and restored it to it’s proper order. I now use it to cook roasts and stews with, and for stove top deep frying.

Her parents had also had a summer place that the mice had the run of the place most of the year. Her parents used to keep things in cabinets and just washed them properly at the beginning of every season. My Mom got to the point though where at the end of every season, everything got placed in big plastic garbage bags before they were put into the cabinets. It is all washed again when it comes out of the bags anyway so I don’t really see the point. Some things, if not used, were just kept in the bags for many a year. This is how I stumbled across one of my now, cast iron skillets. I was the first to the cabin that year and had the pleasure of sweeping up the mice poop and clearing the cob webs. I started taking things out from under the cabinet and stumbled across a rusted, nasty looking cast iron skillet. I was horrified! I never thought that I would be able to save it. But with careful scrubbing, and a proper re-seasoning, I was able to salvage the pan. I removed it from the cabin and brought it home. It gets love on a weekly basis now.

I must say that I am still actually quite surprised at my mother’s treatment of this black gold. Her family came Pennsylvania. A well know cast iron foundry region. She also came from an upbringing of parents that were in the Great Depression. They used to save and re-use everything. No doubt why they still had a cast iron skillet. Besides the fact that they started out with their summer place that was quite remote, and they lived in tents, in the woods, cooking over campfires. Ergo, the cast iron cookware. Over the years, as the cabin built up around them, they brought old things from home, and bought other peoples old items at yard sales, to furnish and stock the cabin for summer living. I have been known myself to take older items there that still work, but maybe not as good. I had a slow cooker that was getting tired and I bought myself a new one. The old one still worked, just slower. Seeing as we did not have one at the cabin, it now has another home. It only gets used once or twice a year, so the old girl can keep up.

Those are my cast iron horror stories. Not that horrific, but scary just the same. I care for my cast iron cookware, and have taught my boys to care and respect the black gold as well. The Boy Scouts have also taught them the respect of cast iron. One of their leaders was very learned in cast iron care and cooking, and taught my boys well. I don’t have much to pass on to my kids when the time comes, but I hope that they will treasure the black gold that I have been caring for, for them.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011 @ 06:01 PM

For those of you that have been thinking of starting a food business, whether a food truck, catering business, restaurant, or just setting up at the local festivals and fairs, and outdoor propane deep fryer is for you. Even if you have one of these businesses already, a deep fat fryer can be very handy for your business.

If you have a seasonal restaurant or outdoor patio dining in warmer weather, deep frying foods outside for your patrons can be very helpful. The food will be available quicker for your customer’s eating pleasure.

A catering business gets much more business in the summer months. People having outdoor weddings and family functions can enjoy fresh deep fried chicken or fish. Not everything has to be just grilled or warmed in a chaffing dish. Depending on the type of outdoor deep fryer that you have, you can even add Low Country Boil or New England Clam Bake to your summer catering menu. If your outdoor catering is centered more on grilled items, then you can use your stock pot and propane cooker to steam corn on the cob or boil potatoes.

The thought of owning a food truck and starting your own business is a great prospect. Especially for people that may have lost a job in the past few years and have been struggling with unemployment or dead end jobs. The west coast is booming right now with the food truck business. Everything from zeppoles to wings, gourmet burgers to fine French cuisine. Food trucks are not just for ice cream and the basic lunch crowd anymore.

But you may not be ready to purchase a truck yet. Maybe you want to start out smaller and get a feel for the food industry. Start out with a basic turkey fryer kit. Learn to use it, cook with it, get to know it’s nuances. Then set up at the church bazaar. Go to a local car show. Set up at a small local fair. We all know how big a part of street fairs and festivals that deep fried food plays. Once you get used to the art of deep frying or steaming and stewing with your fryer kit, then you can upgrade. Either upgrade your fryer to a larger commercial grade fryer, or stick with what you have and go to a larger festival and see how you do. Once you get used to all the ins and outs of the commercial food business, eventually you can get a truck or larger fryer and expand your business. The point is to start smaller and learn the trade. You don’t want to jump in head first and loose your life’s savings by purchasing top of the line equipment and slowly finding things out the hard way.

So, if you are considering a new career in the food industry or expanding the food business you already have, an outdoor deep fryer is an investment worth making.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

Have you ever gone to a diner and ordered home fries with your breakfast? How often were they just awful, blah, plain, fried, cut up potatoes? The thing that bothers me most about that, is that it doesn’t take much to make good home fries. Cut up an onion with it. Cut up some green pepper. Add some spices or seasonings.

Here is a quick and easy version that you can make at home.

1\4 cup plus one Tbsp. olive oil

3 potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces

Coarse salt

2 onions, sliced into rings (sprinkle with a little bit of sugar)

1\2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley(optional)

Heat 3 Tbsp. of the oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Cook potatoes, covered for 5 mins.

Season with salt.

Add remaining oil and the sliced onions.

Stir. Reduce heat, cover and cook for another 5 mins.

Uncover and fry, tossing often, until onions and potatoes begin to brown. About 8 mins.

Sprinkle with smoked paprika, and cook for about another 8 mins.

Remove. Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper.

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Monday, January 17, 2011 @ 06:01 PM

So, this years Superbowl will be in Arlington, Texas.

I know that Texans take their barbecue very seriously as well as their tailgates. I can only imagine how awesome a Texas Superbowl tailgate party would be. BBQ smokers everywhere! Grills, turkey fryers, heck, all kinds of outdoor propane deep fryers, and all sorts of outdoor cooking equipment. Meat everywhere! Smoked brisket and sausages, ribs, fried turkey, pulled pork and beef. An absolute BBQ Mecca!!! I wish I did not live so far away. This would truly be a tailgate haven and heaven that I would love to witness. Just to walk the pavement looking at everyone’s set ups and see all of the different kinds of food would be simply awesome. I mean this is Superbowl! And in Texas. You just can’t get any bigger than that.

To all you folks that will be participating in this year’s Superbowl tailgate madness….I salute you!

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