Thursday, October 30, 2014

Brisket Bomber

Brisket Bomber

     Was craving something different the other night and came up with this great idea. I wanted a hearty guy’s guy kind of sandwich. Who doesn't love a good sandwich? They're packed with flavor. They're easy to carry and transport. They're the best meal because you eat with your hands. It was the end of summer and I wanted a nice piece of smoked meat to top this sandwich so I decided on a brisket. I thought it was the perfect cut of beef to make this sandwich pop. A great cut that can be slowly cooked for hours to infuse a wonderful smokey flavor. Top it off with some caramelized onions, spicy mustard, and a cool pickle relish. Surround with a crusty bun and it could be one of the perfect sandwiches out there. I call this sandwich the Brisket Bomber. Plain and simple it's the bomb. Brisket Bomber.

  • Brisket
  • Liquid smoke
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tbs butter
  • Bread and butter pickles
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Hoagie buns

Dry Rub:
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Celery salt
  • Seasoning salt
  • Black pepper

     The reason I did not add quantities to the ingredients of the rub is that I just eye balled it. I basically took all the ingredients and poured them into a bowl, mixed up, and based it all on taste. Sometimes cooking is best left to trial and error. You can base this rub on your own taste. I can say that they were all mostly equal parts so if you use 3 tbs of onion powder I would use 3 tbs of garlic powder and so forth. Take the rub mixture and generously rub it all over the brisket the night before you plan on making this. You have to give the rub plenty of time to work itself into the meat. Wrap the brisket in some tinfoil and place in the fridge overnight.

     Now at 9:00 am I removed the brisket from the fridge and placed in a Dutch oven. I took a ramekin and filled it with 1/2 cup of water and 4 tbs of liquid smoke. Place the ramekin into the Dutch oven next to the brisket.  This simulates smoking as I do not own a smoker and I have found this works pretty darn well.  Of course if you do own a smoker definitely utilize it first. Turn the oven to 210-220 degree Fahrenheit and let cook for 7 hours. Check half way through the cooking process to make sure there is still enough water in the ramekin to keep moister circulating.

     Sauté your onions in the butter until nice and brown and all the sugars inside have caramelized. Take some nice buns and toast them. Spread the spicy brown mustard on one side. Dice up your pickles and add some chili flakes. Slice the brisket against the grain. The outside will be nice and chard with all the goodness from the rub and the liquid smoke. Lay a few slices on the other side of the bun. Top with your caramelized onions, pickle relish, and top with the mustard covered bun. Viola! A fantastic, wonderful, delicious mans sandwich.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Straightjacket" Burger

Straightjacket Burger
     This burger is so named because after the first bite you will be so "crazy" with the wonderfulness that is this burger that you will require a straightjacket to finish this. I was just sitting at work one day and discussing things with one of my coworkers and the idea just came to me. I need to create a burger that is so freaking good it will make you go crazy after just one bite. This burger is packed with meatiness, flavor, gooeyness, and taste that if you do not like it something is definitely wrong with you. The burger is simple but the flavors are out of this world. Straightjacket Burger.

Ingredients for simple burger:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbs special seasoning
  • Salt/pepper

     Simply mix the ground beef, seasoning, (something I am a fan of but not going to give away. Just use your favorite seasoning), salt and pepper together. Press down between two sheets of wax paper with the back of a plate and grill until perfect doneness. Makes 5 patties.

Ingredients for topping:
  • Homemade bread and butter pickles
  • 10 slices crisp bacon
  • 5 slice processed cheese
  • Molasses honey mustard BBQ sauce, (1 tbs molasses, 1 tbs honey mustard, 1 tbs BBQ sauce)

      After the burgers have been cooking until your preferred temperature, (consuming raw beef is  not good for your health), however I like my burgers a bit medium. Place already cooked bacon on top and then a slice of the processed cheese. Let sit on grill until the cheese starts to melt over the bacon and burger, enveloping like a straightjacket. On a good crispy bun, spread some of the molasses honey mustard bbq sauce. Top your burger with fresh bread and butter pickles and you have a "crazy" delicious burger ready to be consumed in its entirety. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4-5 people.

      The combination of the processed cheese slice, the spicy but sweet molasses bbq sauce, and the crisp but spicy pickles make this burger fantastic. Enjoy.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

     Fra Diavolo is a spicy tomato based sauce that can be served on most anything. An Italian-American creation that is sort of combination of different Italian sauces with its spices and flavor. The name means "brother devil" and is a definite when you taste this delicious spicy sauce. The tomato taste and the heat from the chili wake up your taste buds in a blast of flavor. I hadn’t really had this dish before. My mother strictly stuck to the basics of her Italian meals. I have always been one to try different dishes. Combine flavors and influences from other cultures in making a delicious meal. One might say I am more adventurous than her. Oh well.  She occasionally likes my creations.  Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

  • 1/2 lb fresh shrimp
  • 1 10oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 small handful diced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbs chili flakes
  • 1 10oz can cannellini beans
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper

     In a large skillet sauté your onion in a little olive oil until translucent. Toss in the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Mix in your shrimp and white wine and sauté until the wine starts to reduce. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, chili flakes, and beans. Stir, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. It doesn’t take long for the shrimp to cook and as for the other ingredients; they blend very well and quickly together to create a wonderful, spicy, full of flavor dish. I served this over a bit of cooked orzo pasta but feel free to try it with rice, spaghetti, or what ever you have in your pantry. Serves about 2-4 people. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Salmon Cake Sammich

Salmon Cake Sammich

     Yes I know sandwich is spelled wrong. It's a fun spin on the dish. Another dish inspired by a memory. Do you remember certain dishes you had as a child? Most still my mother makes and I myself have carried down. Most dishes are traditional to our family or our culture and have been passed down from generation to generation. There are those few that started with my mother and cannot be considered traditional. You know the ones, those simple meals your mother made to come up with a quick meal for the family.  This one in particular is inspired by just one of those dishes. As Irish/Italian and Catholic we grew up almost always having some sort of fish on Fridays. As middle class and trying to feed at least 5 my mother came up with a simple salmon cake dish by utilizing that easy to open red can of pink salmon from the supermarket. This dish is partially inspired by that same salmon cake but twisted and made into a delightful sandwich. Salmon Cake Sammich is what I like to call it.

  • 16 oz can pink salmon
  • 3 tbs pimentos
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Arugula
  • Mayo
  • Lemon juice
  • Dill
  • Buns
  • Pepper

      Once you open the can of salmon people get freaked out by the fact that there are some bones in it. These are perfectly edible. Combine the salmon with the diced onion, pimentos, garlic, and the egg. Mix in some breadcrumbs, (roughly about a 1/3 of a cup), just enough to help combine and bind the mixture. Press out your salmon cakes into patties. This recipe makes roughly about 5-6 salmon patties. Gently fry each patty in a skillet or frying pan in some butter till brown on both sides. Lay across your favorite bun or sandwich bread. Top with a mixture of lemon juice, mayo, black pepper, and some dill. Lay some fresh arugula on top and viola; you have a wonderful ready to eat Salmon Sammich. Play around with this recipe. It’s easy, quick, and full of flavor. I’m sure it will help spice up those boring Friday evening fish meals. Enjoy!