Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Atomic Cabbage Joe

     Ah, the venerable Sloppy Joe. What kid hasn't had his parents crack open a can of Sloppy Joe mix and stir it in with some greasy ground beef? My parents, now that I think of it. Sloppy Joe was always something served in junior high cafeterias or grimly eaten in my first apartment. The time has come to update that meal. Enter the Atomic Cabbage Joe. This is a recipe I slightly modified from one of my many slow-cooker cook books. It called for barbecue sauce. I happened to have a particularly volatile batch of home made sauce with jalapeno peppers. The result was a taste sensation. It also caused some phenomenal gastrointestinal distress due to the powerhouse combo of cabbage and hot peppers. Give it a try and see what you think. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Atomic Cabbage Joe
modified via Fix It and Forget It Lightly

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce (if you're not a huge pansy, use the recipe for BBQ Jalapeno and Onions)
  1. Brown turkey in a pan; drain.
  2. Load cabbage, turkey and sauce in a slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours
Good Times!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Apples in Bourbon Custard

    Holy Shit. I'm not one to normally go nuts about something that came out of a slow cooker, but I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best thing outside of my chili to ever come out of a slow cooker. I just threw this together completely on a goof and magic happened. Seriously, once you have this, you'll forsake all other slow cooker desserts. We're talking eyes in the back of the head, open mouth groaning kind of good. Unless you don't like apples. Then you're shit out of luck. As always, notes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Apples in Bourbon Custard

  • 6 small-medium apples, spiral cut and cored (you'll need one of those apple corer/peeler/slicer things or you're in for more work than you want)
    This thing. You can find them on Amazon for under $20, or at Pampered Chef for $1,200.
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (we used pecans, but I imagine walnuts or cashews would be delightful)
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (that's fancy-talk for gold raisins)
  • 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Benchmark Brown Sugar Liquor (if you don't want the booze, just use an equal amount of brown sugar. If you can't find Benchmark, you can mix about 2 tablespoons brown sugar with 1/4 cup bourbon for roughly the same effect)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. If you haven't already done so, run your apples through that apple corer/peeler/slicer thing. Do your best to get the apple off the spindle whole. You will be scored on artistic merit.
  2. Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place the apples in a single layer on the bottom (we were able to barely fit 6 apples in a 2.5 quart cooker)
  3. Mix the chopped nuts and raisins. Fill the middle of each apple where you removed the core. 
  4. In a medium bowl (you can use a large bowl if you'd like. I wouldn't recommend using a small bowl unless you like making a mess), mix sweetened condensed milk, honey, bourbon and cinnamon. Pour mixture evenly over the apples. 
  5. Cook on LOW for 3 hours or until apples start to get tender and liquid takes on a custard-like consistency. 
Good times!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kosher Dill Pickles

     First off, let me make it clear that these pickles are not truly Kosher. Our house would never pass a Kosher certification. The six pound pork shoulder in the freezer pretty much locks that one up. We don't even grow the veggies right. According to Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:19, we screwed up since we grew our cucumbers in a field with a bunch of other seeds. So, semantics (or Semetics "I'll be here all week! Try the veal and tip your servers! Don't forget the 9:30 show is nothing like the 6:30 show; you can't bring your kids to the 9:30 show!") aside, these are just some tasty pickles to nosh on as you see fit. Eat them from the jar, use them in a potato salad, or slap them on a hot dog (WITHOUT KETCHUP. Please, I'm begging you, don't put ketchup on a hot dog). As always, notes and changes are in blue. 

Kosher Dill Pickles
via Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book

  • 2-1/4 pounds 4-inch cucumbers (we just used whatever cucumbers we had on hand. No clue as to type. If they weren't 4 inches, we just cut them down to make sure they'd fit in a pint jar)
  • Fresh dill heads (LOL WUT? No clue as to what they're asking for. I, for one, refuse to decapitate an innocent dill. We used a teaspoon of dill weed in each pint jar)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Hot red peppers (we used whole dehydrated cayenne)
  • Pickling salt
  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  1. Wash cucumbers. Pack them in hot quart jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace (we derail almost immediately. One, we used pint jars. Two, we used full sized cucumbers, so we cut ours into spears, then shortened them as needed to get them in pint jars. We did, however, wash them. I think.)
  2. To each quart, add 2 heads fresh dill, 1 clove garlic, 1 hot pepper and 1 tablespoon pickling salt
    (if you're doing it our way, you'll be adding to each pint, 1 teaspoon dill weed, 1 clove garlic, 1 dried cayenne and 1-1/2 teaspoons pickling salt)
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Pour boiling liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids.
  5. Process in boiling water bath (20 minutes for quarts, 15 for pints)
  6. Yields will depend on how committed you are to violently jamming cucumbers into the jars.
  7. As always, if you're not familiar with canning, go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation to avoid poisoning anyone.
Good times!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Peach Bourbon Applesauce

     There's really not a whole lot to making applesauce. It's pretty much just apples and sugar. It's not really missing anything. Except booze. Everything is better with booze. I took a basic recipe from The Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book and added a fantastic peach liquor. The booze cooks out but leaves behind a subtle peach flavor in the applesauce that is just wonderful. If you want the original recipe, just leave out the booze. Canned, this will hold for around a year on the shelf. We like to make a gallon at a time and just put it aside in quart jars. It's nice to get a taste of summer in the middle of winter. As always, notes are in blue.

Peach Bourbon Applesauce
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book 

  • 6-7 pounds apples (use whatever type you like. We just stole ours from our neighbor's apple trees)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Benchmark Peach Whiskey
  1. Wash, quarter and core apples. Combine apples, 4 cups of water and color keeper. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until apples are tender.
  2. Press apples through food mill (if you have a KitchenAid with a food mill attachment, this part is wonderfully easy. If you're using a manual food mill, this recipe qualifies as a Pain In The Ass)
  3. Put milled apples in a large pot with the sugar and booze. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent scorching or sticking. Taste and add sugar or more booze as needed. 
  4. If you plan on eating a gallon of applesauce on the spot, you can skip this and the next step. Pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. 
  5. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath (as always, defer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation to make sure you are canning correctly)
Good times!