Monday, December 27, 2010

Onion Rings and Other Stuff

Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

Homemade onion rings are a real treat at our house and have been for thirty years. They are simple to make and the mess is not too bad.
Okay – here is what you need.
A big ol’ soup bowl & a Fork - That’s it
If you are new to the old chef’s blog I try to explain everything as I go, and never too fast.
Ingredients means the stuff we will be using and today the ingredients are—
Flour, salt, baking powder and milk (that’s it four things and they are all white)
I throw in stuff like they are all white just to make this blog not only informative but interesting and memorable.
Oh—you will need an onion –I like white onions but red or yellow will work
• Mix one cup flour (in the soup bowl)
• One teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• Enough milk to mix, should be about the consistency of a raw egg white ( or not quite so much)
Slice onion into ½ inch rings—separate the rings
Dip until well coated – make sure it sticks – but don’t let it fill the hole in the middle (rings)
Drop into a pan of hot oil –this is what you need the fork for— (I turn the burner to a bit past medium heat, 360 if you have a fryer with a thermometer) CORN OIL, nothing fancy
If using a pan or skillet or a big chunk of aluminum foil the oil needs to be about ¾ inch deep.
Fry one side then flip –once again using the handy fork (each side will take about 30 seconds)
Fry the other side and lay on a paper towel-shake on a little salt or your favorite seasoning salt.
When finished they should be about the color of a pancake and boy do they ever taste good.

Have some of the coating left? Roll some chedder chunks in and fry as above--much better than you can find in your favorite cafe.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas With Only One Mishap

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you all over ate (I did) and baked and cooked untill you were happy. (We did at our place)
Christmas is over and I am sitting in my recliner playing with my brand new Kindle. All four kids and all seven grandkids made it. BUT as always there had to be a mishap and this one was a dozy. Our four year old granddaughter broke her leg sledding. It was our second day on the hill (yesterday) she is a tough little kid but when she said she needed to go to the doctor we knew it was hurting. Now it is all cast up (hip to foot) and in about eight weeks she will be as good as new. Thank God for grandkids, good doctors and quick healing for four year olds.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yea Christmas Vacation

My first day of Christmas vacation-two weeks before I go back. First day and I already over ate. How can I do that--well Grandma (my wife) and two young (6&4) grand kids made Christmas cookies today. I became the designated taster. Then Pizza tonight. Remember those old Alka-Seltzer adds from years ago? I look and feel like one of those guys -- think I will go get some exercise. Maybe watch a football game on TV.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Food Quiz

What food item, eaten by thousands of soldiers, needed only two ingredients?

Answer - Hardtack

Here is the recipe

Flour and Water – That’s it!

Mix to a consistency you like and can work with – anywhere from three to six parts flour to one part water

Roll out and cut into ½ inch thick four by four squares

Poke holes into each square - some old timers said 13 in each square, nowadays (does anyone really use the word nowadays anymore not sure it is a real word and my spell checker is not sure either) it is four rows of four, believe that makes 16 – use something like a chop stick or end of an artist’s paint brush to poke holes

Bake at 350 degrees twenty to twenty-five minutes flip them and bake the other side.

There you have it – shelf life of 50 years

Modern hardtack often contains salt but salt attracts moisture and brings mold. Mold means no more shelf life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Dad's Peanut Brittle

By Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

I just read another recipe for “Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle” made with dry roasted peanuts in a microwave. THIS IS NOT OLD FASHIONED-THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY OLD FASHIONED ABOUT MICROVAVES OR DRY ROASTED PEANUTS (dry roasted peanuts are tasty but not old fashioned).
So with thanks to my dad, who really made, “old fashioned peanut brittle” here it is the real stuff.

Here’s what you need – we will call it the Ingredients

1 ½ cups of white sugar - I try to find beet sugar instead of cane sugar. It might not matter but I live in Wyoming where farmers grow sugar beets, a tad too cold here for sugarcane.
½ cup of white corn syrup – this stuff pours out really slow, use your finger to wipe out the excess. Lick excess or let grandkids have it (I favor the grandkid approach but it tastes pretty good)
¼ cup water – Tap water only –do not use the bottled stuff – REMBER –OLD FASHIONED
1 ½ cups of raw peanuts- raw –never been cooked or freeze dried
½ teaspoon salt – Sorry but if you are on a low salt diet you must still put this in – my wife says, “don’t change it, and don’t leave anything out.”
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda – Soda not powder, they do look alike but soda is often in a bigger container. I remember one time when I switched (accidentally) soda and powder. It was before I had become the famous cooking expert that I am now. Anyway it was six or seven years ago –NO—wait a minute it was yesterday. At any rate, don’t mix them up. (Sorry for the bad joke)

How to do it - “ie” - Directions

(Ever wonder what “ie” means and why people use it? Well this is not only a great tasting candy recipe it’s a bit of an English lesson also. It can mean a lot of things but in this case “ie” is from Latin "id est" meaning "that is" or "in other words".
It is widely used to speed up writing because it takes such a long time to say, “in other words or that is.”
So here we go –“ie”- here we go


1. Rub some margarine on cooking sheets – coat them good (old fashioned no cooking spray – Okay use it if you must I do. Ever wonder why no one calls margarine oleo anymore?
2. In a 4 quart saucepan (the big ol’ pan no one ever uses) over medium-high heat, dump in the sugar, corn syrup and water and stir um up. Heat to boiling (lots and lots of bubbles) toss in the raw peanuts. Cook until peanuts turn kind of gold in color and syrup mixture beads off peanuts when raised out of pan. (Use a spoon to make this check, if you stick in your Jack Horner thumb it will blister).
3. Now real Quick mix in the salt and baking soda until well blended. (But don’t overdo the mixing) This is so cool it foams up volcano like and you need to be ready to pour or it will come right out of the pan—please do not think that this has happened to me, but be ready.
4. Pour it onto the prepared cookie sheets. (I love to say prepared cookie sheets like the TV fake chefs). Allow mixture to spread on its own. (Don’t use a fork – took me a while to get the hang of this). Cool completely, and break into pieces. Store in plastic bags. Freeze if you want to save it for awhile before use. Plus when I freeze it I will stay out of it and that can be good.

This is a great recipe – true old fashioned Peanut Brittle –Try It! –Can we say Yum here?


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Wanna-diet

By Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen

Wow, am I glad to be back in a normal eating mode. Thanksgiving makes me think I am the guy in the television show, “Man Vs. Food” then I need to recover and get back to normal eating. My wife and I had a discussion of what kind of diet we follow. Must be something mid-western. She is from Oklahoma and I am form Nebraska, I guess that is why we live in Wyoming now. I don’t even know what that last sentence meant.
So here it is our normal Mid-western stuff diet: burgers, pork chops, pot roast, pizza, pasta, French bread, biscuits, BLT’s, soups, raw veggies, pastries, diet soda and unsweetened tea, lots of desert and once in a while some fast food. Sounds like the regular guy diet to me. Hope my wife does not read this; it may be just my wanna-diet.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Candy Bar Cake

By Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

My favorite time of the year is almost here, Christmas time, today one of my favorite holiday recipes.

Here is what you need. Let’s call it the ingredients. -I like Christmas list better-

5 full size candy bars –here is a little hint—buy yourself one of those 6 packs of candy bars. You got it, one to eat while cooking—VERY COOL!

I know, I know, what kind of candy bars? –Hey what do you like? Milky Way, Snickers and Three Musketeers seem to work the best. They need to be a candy bar with the nugget-ee stuff in the middle. (Can’t believe the spell checker didn’t like nugget-ee)

8 regular candy canes - (regular means peppermint, peppermint is what candy canes are supposed to be).

1 cup butter- (real and unsalted)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs- (put the whites in one bowl and the yellows in another bowl)

2 ½ cups flour – One time I thought the recipe said flowers (may have been making something that called for a bit of wine) I used flowers instead of flour –now that was a big mistake but long before I became the revered Wyoming Chef that I am today.

½ tsp of Baking soda

1 ¼ cups Buttermilk – don’t have buttermilk? Let’s face it, who really has buttermilk?

Guess what? You can make your own buttermilk by simply adding one teaspoon (for the real bakers out there that would be 1 tsp – anyway add one tsp of vinegar to 8 ounces of milk and Wa-La you got yourself buttermilk.

1 cup chopped nuts –good stuff, no peanuts although I do like peanuts. Pecans are best but if you are a touch on the cheap side try English walnuts. I like to mix walnuts, pecans and almonds, but remember one cup—no more.

Now here is where it gets difficult—putting all this stuff together.** In a small sauce pan (my dad used to call all canned fruit sauce, don’t think anyone does that anymore).

Anyway in a small sauce pan over low heat melt together the candy bars with ½ cup of butter. Cream sugar with the rest of the butter (stir-um-together)

Add candy and stir together.

Add egg yolks, one at a time mixing as you go. (Don’t need to kill it just blend um up some)

Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add alternately with flour to the candy mixture – make sure you end with flour (not sure why you need to end with flour but I think it may be an alphabetical order thing)

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into candy mixture with the pre chopped nuts (I try to use the mixer for this to speed things up – it never works do it by hand. But if you are in a hurry use the mixer and if the peaks don’t happen just pour the crap in, who will know the difference anyway?

Pour mixture into a cake pan –deeper is better- (make sure you pre-greased and floured it)

Now for the topping and this is really cool – chop up the candy canes mix about ½ and ½ with regular granulated white sugar and sprinkle on top 20 minutes before taking out of the oven. (You may have to take it out to do this to save wear and tear on the oven but then put it back for the final 20 minutes.

Bake at 325 degrees for 65-70 minutes

Or you might try to crank up the oven to six or seven hundred and see if it will bake in 15 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

**One time I just stirred up the whole mess together threw it in the oven at 400 degrees-tasted great, didn’t look too good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Choke Cherries and Great Weather

The Choke Cherries have turned from green to pink to red. Won't be long now for some of the Ol' teacher's Choke Cherrie Jelly.
Second night in a row I am setting out on the patio enjoying another beautiful Wyoming evening. We pay for it when winter comes but summers are spectacular. Seventy-one degrees, southwest breeze and 27 percent humidity can’t beat it. Last night we sat outside until ten-thirty, put the blankets over us about nine. Temperature went down to 48 last night but back around 80 today.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WOW - Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Tried some fresh peach ice cream at a peach orchard in Ruston Louisiana last week it was unbelievably good. Try it someday.

I’ve been grillin’ and eatin’ out lately more great recipes coming soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snow Ice Cream

I Remember a time when I was a kid - yes it was a long time ago, we made ice cream with snow. A few years later we learned that there was a small dust particle in each snow flake and that was the end of snow ice cream. We allready knew enough to only use white snow, none of the yellow stuff, but we never knew snow was part dirt. I ate a lot of it as a kid and my grandson (5) still thinks it's great. That's all for now, think I will go find some snow and make a little ice cream. Honey where's the chocolate?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baked Brook Trout Wrapped in Green Crested Wheat Grass, Sautéed in Stream Rinsed Wild Raspberries.

Today - camp food—this one is especially good for mountain fisherman.
This is your step by step guide to living the good life while roughing it in the back country mountains.
1. Gather several grapefruit sized stones (ten or twelve should be about right)
2. Stop and rest for a short time
3. Gather fire wood (about two good armloads should do it)
4. Stop and rest for a short time
5. Using your best outdoor instincts build a large fire inside the fire pit surrounded by the ten to twelve grapefruit sized stones.
6. Stop and rest for a short time
7. Let the fire die down to red hot coals before getting out the box of aluminum foil
8. Double layer the aluminum foil (I still call it tin foil) directly on the red hot coals
9. Soak burned hands in cool stream
10. Stop and rest for a short time – let hands regain some semblance of feeling
11. Put new tinfoil on the coals replacing the piece you threw in the stream after burning yourself
12. Get a big stick and roll the rocks onto the foil to prevent it from ever going anywhere again.
13. Spray the foil with a generous amount of cooking oil – then spay the coals and watch them flame up—kind of fun
14. Stop and rest for a short time after putting out the grass fire caused from spraying everything within five feet of the fire with cooking oil spray (ever notice the cans are always green)
15. Soak blistered hands in cool stream while resting up
16. Go back to the vehicle and get a change of clothes after falling in the stream trying to hand catch a small Brook Trout.
17. Stop and rest for a short time
18. Get a can of Span from the cooler
19. Cut into thin slices and lay on the foil covered fire
20. Isn’t that sizzle and smell great (now that’s campfire cooking)
21. Turn pieces when they smell like burning flesh (should be an easy smell to recognize)
22. Cook other side for a short while
23. Get out the loaf of white bread
24. Smear several pieces with mayonnaise ½ to ¾ inches deep (this will help kill the taste of burned to a crisp Spam)
25. Crack open an ice cold diet Pepsi or ratchet it up to a Mountain Dew (full sugar) if you are starting to feel a bit on edge
26. Eat and enjoy!
27. If there are still warm coals break out he marshmallows

What happened to the original recipe—never had one. Too hard to catch enough Brook Trout for a good meal, don’t believe I would recognize crested wheat grass if it were growing on my desk, and the wild raspberries—the bears in my neck of the woods will get there before me. Note: do not try to get to the berries at the same time as the bear.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old Fashioned Cobbler

Can an old school teacher cobbler it up in the kitchen? -Maybe-
Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen, award winning author, retired politician and honored citizen.

Decided to try my hand at baking last week, actually I used both hands, except when I was on the phone.
Made a multi-berry cobbler and it was good enough to eat. When I remember all the stuff I put in it I will post here but for now this is what I remember.

1. I used several white things, flour, sugar and corn starch, don’t remember using any milk so this may be all the whites.
2. Frozen berries—quite a few
3. Spicy stuff—some cinnamon and clove and something I believe was called all-spice, whatever that is.
4. A few other things that I do not remember but they helped out the taste. Pick out a few of your own.
5. Cook, ur I mean BAKE at 350 or 450 degrees for a while but not a long while.
6. Top with lots of ice cream and enjoy

Total calories depend on how big the serving is and how much you eat, varies from ten or fifteen calories to eleven or twelve thousand.

Happy Eatin’

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fast Food Anyone ?

Last night I watched a television cooking show—how to make a Cheeseburger and French fries with a malt or shake. Not sure what was more embarrassing, me watching or the fact that somebody somewhere believes that making a burger and fries is good television. Might be some better than watching the ongoing Jay Leno and Conan O’Bryan talk show war. Oh well, I turned to the golf channel for a re-run of the 1988 British Open—now that’s entertainment.