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  • Ingredients
  • Top sirloin beef steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • Favorite rub

Sprinkle the steaks with kosher salt. Place under refrigeration for two hours or overnight. After refrigeration, do not rinse, just pat them dry. Bring a cast iron or other heavy skillet to a high heat. Rub the fat of the steak against the skillet until a little bit has rendered. Set the 1st steak onto the fat and sear on all sides. Set aside onto a plate. Sear the steaks one at a time so that they get a nice brown color on all sides.

Let the steaks cool a little bit and then coat all over with your favorite spice rub. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. Place the steaks on the grate inside the smoker. Let them smoke for about 45 minutes and check the temperature. When the thermometer reads 130 degrees F (should be another 15-30 minutes or more), remove from smoker. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for ten minutes or so. Slice and serve or serve whole steaks. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

NOTES: I’m using a Traeger pellet smoker, so the temperature is pretty consistent. These steaks are typically lean and a large cut. Dare I say, a bit tough, but smoking like this really softens them up. They were so, so good. I used Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Salmon Rub. It’s what happens when you have a pound of it and are trying to use it up. Good thing it tastes good on everything, not just salmon!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Hot water (apx. 1/4-1/3 cup)

In a bowl (I use my mini food-processor), mix together garlic, salt, pepper, tahini, and lemon juice. Stir in hot water to make it the consistency you like. Check for salt. Serve.

NOTES: This is easy-peasy. Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds. It has the consistency of peanut butter and can be used as a substitute for that, especially for people who are allergic to peanuts. Tahini is gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Use it on meats like lamb, or eggplant, or as a sandwich spread with meat or vegetables. Really, a lot of uses. Tonight I’m making lamb meatballs and I’m going to use the tahini sauce for dipping. I can’t wait! Oh, and I have memories of Jonkoping, Sweden and kebab pizza. The tahini sauce is is your final component drizzled over the top. Yes!

  • Ingredients
  • Zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoned Salt (any kind)
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Yes, very hot.

Cut each zucchini lengthwise in half. Cut in half lengthwise again. Now cut in half cross-wise. Each zucchini should yield eight long pieces. If your zucchini are ginormous, you’ll have to make extra cuts, but you can figure it out.

Prepare a baking sheet by covering with foil. Swazz some olive oil around on it. Using your hands, dredge the zucchini through the olive oil so that the zukes are well coated. Place the zucchini skin-side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Keep the zukes well-spaced from each other. Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning salt and pepper. I like to use Angelo’s Gourmet Seasoning.

Roast for 8-15 minutes. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Don’t touch them. Remove from oven and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot. Oh, yum! So good!

  • Ingredients
  • Chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • Olive oil
  • Favorite seasoning salt

Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with your favorite seasoning salt. I used Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Salmon Rub. Cover with cling wrap. Put the chicken under refrigeration for a couple hours. Remove from refrigerator and set aside at room temperature. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F. Add the chicken to the smoker and let it smoke for about an hour and a half. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove from smoker and cover loosely with foil. Let stand thirty minutes. Serve! Yum.

NOTES: I’m getting the hang of my Traeger pellet smoker. This was way easy and tasted great. I only make two chicken pieces, so if you have more pieces serving more than two people, it’s going to take longer than an hour and a half. Just sayin’.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-6 oz. bacon, diced
  • 1 lb. fresh sausage links
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, quartered or halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. baby carrots
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 3 or 4 potatoes, halved or quartered
  • Parsley

In a Dutch oven, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. Add sausage links to the pan and brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion and mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry until onion is translucent and mushrooms are browned a little. Stir in garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Stir in the carrots and salt and pepper. Let it cook until the carrots are heated through. Stir in the beer. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and add potatoes. Let it return to simmer. Stir in the bacon. Once it is has returned to a nice little simmer, nestle the sausages into the dish. Sprinkle with parsley. Bake, covered, at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Check that the carrots and potatoes are tender. Serve warm.

NOTES: Back when my husband was flying to the Aleutian Islands, we did a lot of food trades. It was hard for the residents there to get fresh produce, so we would make a run to Costco and send a cooler of vegis or grapefruit down the chain. Then we would get back halibut or cod on the return. It’s a deeply instilled tradition. Our friend Micheala lives in Anchorage and regularly blesses us with homemade sausages that her Polish-heritage family make every fall. They are delicious all by themselves, but I like to play around with them in recipes. I don’t normally write down what I’m doing, but this one took several tries to perfect. It is based upon a Dublin Coddle recipe that I tried and didn’t like. But the idea of it appealed to me, so I made changes and, voila, this is very flavorful. I like it. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free.

  • Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. dill weed, or 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1# package of “baby” carrots
  • 1-1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar

In a medium skillet, pour a bit of olive oil and stir-fry shallot and garlic until soft. Stir in dill weed and parsley. Stir in carrots until they are well coated with the oil and herb mixture. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender, stirring only occasionally. It’s tasty-good if the carrots turn brown along the bottom. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a splash of white-wine vinegar before serving. Serves 4 as a side dish.

NOTES: This also works well if you prepare it ahead of time and reheat in the oven until warm. I doubled this recipe and it worked out great, just make sure you use a larger skillet. Herb Garlic Carrots were the hit of our Easter 2022 dinner. As recipes do, this morphed from the awesome Chungah at Damn Delicious. Check it out.

  • Ingredients
  • Cornish game hens, patted dry
  • Olive oil
  • Favorite seasoning or dry rub

Rub hens with olive oil. Sprinkle or rub with seasoning, inside and out. Let stand for one hour. Preheat the smoker to 275 degrees F. Place the hens into the smoker at 275 degrees F until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for about thirty minutes. It should take about three hours from sprinkling with seasoning until ready to serve. The smoking part itself takes approximately an hour and a half. These are totally moist and delicious.

Notes: I’m using a pellet smoker (Traeger). This is so simple to do. If the hens are chilled when you place into the smoker, it’s going to take longer. I did this with two hens. If there are more in the smoker, it’s going to take longer.

  • Ingredients
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small food processor. Process until the mixture is a a dip-like paste. If it seems too dry, add more olive oil. Make sure to taste for salt. Serve with your favorite gluten-free chips or crackers or pita wedges or as a condiment for sandwiches. It’s all good.

NOTES: This keeps well under refrigeration for a day or two if you need to make it ahead. Be careful not to overdo the garlic. I used three large cloves last time and, wow, that was really strong! I like this dip because it’s made from ingredients I usually have on-hand, like fresh parsley. Its lack of wheat, rye, dairy, fish, and seafood makes it so everyone in the family can enjoy it. You could try any kind of white bean, instead of cannellini. I happen to like the flavor of the cannellini.

  • Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 quart chicken broth, approximate
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • Sour cream topping, optional

In a large cooking pan, stir fry onion and carrot in a bit of olive oil until the onion is translucent. Stir in chicken broth, dill weed, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Let it simmer until the carrot is nearly cooked through. Stir in the potatoes and simmer until nearly cooked through. Stir in the zucchini and simmer a couple minutes. Add more broth now if you think it needs more. Stir in the spinach. Simmer for a couple minutes longer. Stir in lemon juice and eggs. Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top. The yield is about 4 servings.

NOTES: I found this recipe at Lavender and Macarons called Green Borscht (Ukranian Spinach Soup). I had never made anything quite like it before. I mean, chopped hard-boiled eggs in the soup?! It is surprisingly very delicious. I didn’t follow their recipe very closely, but oh well. What you see written here is the way that I did it. Two of us ate the whole thing for lunch, so if that’s all you’re making for four people you better double it. It seems to me this would be easy enough to turn vegetarian if you used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup diced bacon (or pancetta)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 tsp. fresh)
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  • 2-3 Tbsp. heavy cream

In a large bowl, stir together Dijon mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir the chicken thighs around in the bowl, so that they are fully covered with marinade. Set aside.

In a skillet, fry the bacon until it starts to brown. Remove it from the pan and set aside. Discard all except about a tablespoon of the bacon fat, or add olive oil if you used pancetta or a dry bacon. Add onion to the skillet and stir-fry until soft. Stir in the thyme and cook for another minute or so. Remove the onion/thyme mixture to the bowl with the bacon.

If the skillet requires more fat, add olive oil. Over medium-high heat, add half the chicken and brown it on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet to a plate and set aside. To the skillet, add more olive oil if necessary, and add the second batch of chicken to brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the wine to the hot skillet. Stir and scrape up as many brown bits as you can. Add the chicken, bacon, and onions to the skillet with the wine. Cover the skillet and cook for about fifteen minutes, turning the chicken every once in awhile. Check the chicken for doneness and cook until it’s cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter. Stir grainy mustard and cream into the sauce in the pan. Heat through. If it’s too thick, add a little warm water. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

NOTES: I don’t know what it is about this recipe, probably the bacon, but it is super yummy! The recipe originates with Jennifer at Seasons and Supper. She recommends serving with potatoes or pasta. I usually serve this with Twice-baked Cauliflower and a salad. What you see pictured is the recipe using only 6 chicken thighs and, instead of plating it at the end, I put the thighs back into the sauce in my skillet and served it from there. I use Spanish smoked paprika and it’s sublime. I have marinaded the chicken for minutes and for longer than an hour. I’m not sure it makes a difference. There is a lot of fat rendered into the sauce from the chicken. This does not bother me, but it may you.

What kind?