Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Blog has Moved!!!

As of today, 22 Dec '12, all future blog posts will be posted @:

I hope you'll follow.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maple Smoked Pork Butt

5lb Bone-In Boston Butt. Injected with Apple Juice and Jack Daniels. (1 cup, mixed half 'n half). Light coat of salt and pepper and then a heavy pack of brown sugar. Refrigerated overnight and then back to room temp before placing in smok'r.

Smoked w/ Maple wood for approx 8 hrs @ 225 - 250 degrees.

Cooked to internal temp of about 200 - 205 or until the bone is loose and ready to pull.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Welcome to Fall: Moose Chili & Cornbread

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread Recipe:
1 cup self-rising corn meal mix
1 egg
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 cup whole buttermilk
(mix thoroughly)
While you mix, pre-heat the oven to 450 with the skillet in the oven.  When the oven reaches 450, take the skillet out, place 1 Tbsp of bacon grease (if you have that) in the skillet (or substitute 1 Tbsp of cooking oil) letting the grease/oil spread evenly and then take a generous pinch of the corn meal mix and sprinkle it around just the edge of the skillet.  Now you can pour the cornbread mix into the center of the skillet and place the skillet back into the oven.
I bake the bread for 10 - 12 minutes keeping an eye on it.  As you can see from the photo, I prefer it to have a nice brown crust so I'm toward the 12 minute baking side.  This cornbread is meant to be thin with a little crunch on the edge.

unWine'd with a pour...

'06 Monastrell (Spain), $9 - $13
Dark fruit on the nose, plum and fig upon first tasting.  This is a dry red wine but not tannic, just the slightest hint of spiciness on the finish.  It was good with the Moose Chili.

The slow simmer...

Esther Reeves' Cornbread Recipe (circa - 1970s)

Chili Recipe:
2 lbs ground moose
6 medium tomatoes (cored/diced) or 3 cans diced
1 large spanish/sweet onion, peeled & sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1 can light kidney beans
4 oz diced green chiles
3 bell peppers (cored/diced) (I don't use green.)
1 12oz bottle of a nut brown beer
(add spices below or substitute 2 pkgs of chili seasoning mix)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes (leave out if you don't want the extra heat)
1 1/2 Tbsp cacao nibs

* Brown the ground moose in a skillet with 1 clove of garlic.
* Add the browned moose to all the ingredients in your chili pot and mix thoroughly.

I cook the chili in a large pot for 3 hours on the lowest possible cooktop heat.  Stir infrequently.  After 3 hours, let the pot cool and place in refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours (I prefer two days).  After the refrigerator period, place the chili back on low heat and cook slow until it's hot & ready to eat.

Cheers & bon appétit...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rib-eyes & Meiomi

2 Tbsp Cacao Nibs (you can find some at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Cumin Seed (grind with mortar & pestle)
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
1 tsp Chipolte Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
(Mix all these ingredients in a food processor.)

You can rinse the steaks and pat dry or you can apply a light coat of EVOO and then apply the rub, your choice.  These steaks are about 1 1/4" thick and I grilled them for approximately 7 - 8 minutes per side for a nice Med Rare.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Char'grilled Bone-In Pork Chops & Venge's Sangiovese

Recipe coming soon....

unWine'd with a pour...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flat Iron Steak & Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde dedicated to "Rear Admiral" Snipes, PR, USCG (circa 1944)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Red Burgundy & Lamb

unWine'd with a pour...

Tasting Notes: The wine is Ruby in color with Earthiness, Spice & Clove on the nose after corking, tannins mellowed in the decanter. The wine seemed a little light bodied for a Grand Cru but still very good. Over time the wined smelled more of mushroom and vegetables with a very nice , clean finish. If you're a fan of the Old Worlde Pinots - it's definitely worth a try.

Med-Rare Lamb Chops from New Zealand, Skin-On Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Blanched Asparagus with Blood Orange Balsamic

Homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette...

Decanting the '07 Burgundy from Cote' d'Or

Thursday, April 26, 2012

14 Hands, "Hot to Trot"

14 Hands (Red Blend) <$20, from Washington's Columbia Valley; Merlot, Cab, Syrah, Mourvedre' and other reds in the blend... Dark fruit on the nose, not tannic & maybe a little chocolate / spice on the finish.  Give it a try.

Additionally, a very interesting story about how the wineries name came about.  Check out the story @


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Guacamole


6 Avocados
5 Roma/Plum Tomatoes
1 Vidalia or Spanish Onion
2 Tbsp of finely chopped, fresh Cilantro
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Juice of 2 limes
2 Cloves Garlic

In a mixing bowl, combine these ingredients:
Cut Avocados in half, remove seed - use knife to score the Avocado halves vertically & horizontally - afterward scoop Avocado out with a spoon into the mixing bowl...

Add the juice of the two limes, fold in with a spoon...

Add the Cayenne Pepper, Ground Cumin, Garlic & Kosher Salt, fold in with a spoon...

Add the finely diced sweet onion and fold in with a spoon...

Cut the ends of the tomatoes off, core and finely dice the remainder, add to mixture and fold with a spoon...

Lastly, add the finely chopped, fresh Cilantro to the mixture and fold with a spoon...

Place Guacamole in a covered bowl and refrigerate for one hour.  Afterward, enjoy with your favorite chips...


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Weekend, Cherry Smoked Pork Shoulder

Slow smoked, with cherry & white-oak, Pork Shoulder Shank, 9 lbs

pre-par-a-to-ry info...

I used a very simple dry rub on this pork shoulder.  With the fat side down, on a large baking sheet/pan, I spray the meat side with Apple Cider Vinegar and a little Woodford Reserve Bourbon.  After spraying with the mixture, for a couple hours at 20 - 30 minute intervals, I applied a generous coat of salt and black pepper.  And, I used about 1 cup of brown (light or dark) sugar packed atop the salt/pepper rub on the meat side of the shoulder.  I let that sit @ room temp for 2 or 3 hours.  Afterward, I wrap it in Saran Wrap & Aluminum Foil and refrigerate overnight.  I remove the shoulder from the refrigerator the next morning and let it sit @ room temp for about 4 hours before starting the smoking process.  I want the shoulder to be at room throughout before placing it on the smoker for even cooking.

As you can see, from the top photo, I used only half of the smoker for the fire so the other half provides indirect heat beneath the shoulder.  The water pan below keeps some moisture in the cooker during the smoke.  Once I have the heat regulated at approximately 225 - 250 degrees, I'll place the shoulder on the grill over the water pan, meat side down.  I smoked this shoulder with cherry wood as I prefer the likes of cherry, apple or pecan for smoking pork.

Now, with the shoulder on the cooker, meat side down, I'll spray the fat side w/ the Apple Cider Vinegar and then apply a generous coat of salt & pepper.  Cover the cooker and let the smok'n process begin.  Additionally, every 45 minutes or so, I'll spray the shoulder with the Apple Cider Vinegar / Bourbon mix.

This 9 lb shoulder smoked for about 8.5 hours and the internal meat temp was between 180 - 185 degrees internal when I removed it from the smoker.  After removing the shoulder from the smoker, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and let it sit for about 45 minutes.  The shoulder meat pulls easier when the internal temp reaches that 190 - 195 degree range and it'll get close to that during the resting period.

After the 45 minute resting period, it's time to pull or chop the shoulder meat.  I, personally, prefer pulled so I'll use a couple forks to pull the meat.  I pull the fat layer off and start pulling the meat with the forks, only using a knife if I have to.  As well, this is a great time for "taste testing," especially the outer edge with the bark "salt-pepper-sugar" where it's full of flavor.  Enjoy!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa & Chipolte Chili Lime Sauce

unWine'd with a pour...
Chenin Blanc from Vouvray (Loire Valley area of France) $16
Wheat straw or lighter in color...
Melon, honeysuckle & slight hints of citrus on the nose...
Crisp with nice acidity and it paired well with the fish tacos...

pre-par-a-to-ry info

Talapia fillets, approx 5 to 6 oz each
A couple pinches of salt and pepper on each side
Bake @ 350 degrees for 17 minutes (you can pan fry or grill, your call)

Mango Salsa:
1 peeled & diced mango
1 plum tomato, seeded & diced
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions sliced thinly
2 tbsp scallions sliced thinly
1 lime juiced
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 jalapeños (remove core and seeds), cut in half and roasted under the broiler for 8 - 10 minutes, then dice
(Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour)

Chipolte Chili Lime Sauce:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lim juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chipolte chili powder
1 pinch salt
(Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 30 mins to 1 hour)


Friday, March 30, 2012

Cumin Seared Tuna for Tapas

Tuna sourced from Whole Foods in Franklin, Tn.

Dry Rub for Tuna:
1 teaspoon cumin seed (ground in mortal & pestle) 
1 pinch garlic powder 
1 pinch onion powder

1 pinch salt 
1 pinch onion powder1 pinch cayenne pepper 

1 (8-ounce) tuna steak

Mix the first four ingredients from above ingredients in a small bowl.  Spread the dry rub over the entire piece of Tuna.

Using a small skillet, add 1 Tbsp of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and heat to med-high.  When the oil begins to smoke, place the Tuna in the skillet.
Cook for 1 minute and then turn the Tuna steak.  Splash just a bit of fresh squeezed lime juice atop the Tuna and in the cooking pan.  Cook for 1 minute.  My total cooking time is 2 minutes as I want my tuna rare.

After cooking, allow 5 minutes to cool.  Wrap the Tuna in Saran Wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  
Remove from refrigerator, slice thinly and enjoy.  Add Soy Sauce and Wassabi if you prefer.