Saturday, December 15, 2012

Retire and Take Up Smoking

At the young age of 64 I have became a smoker—no not that kind—the other kind.

For years I have wanted to try smoking meat but never wanted to invest the time and effort to learn and do.  This summer I bought an inexpensive smoker* for my retirement and have tried, beef, pork, chicken and turkey so far. I have had more hits** than misses** although some of my work was not of an award winning nature.***

I have now found dozens of good sights to learn about smoking meat and pick what I think will work best for me and go from there. I have now developed my own dry rubs (this took a little time and experimentation).**** This week I am looking into brining**** and will attempt to make summer sausage and Canadian bacon next week for Christmas. Wish me luck!*****


*Only looked at Wal-mart, K-mart and Menards (everything is cheap in these stores) didn’t want to say cheap smoker in the above post because that makes me look – well- cheap.

**Hit meaning we ate at least some of it, miss meaning we tossed it out and the raccoons left it alone

***I have never actually won a cooking award but I dream about them sometimes

****This means I spent a small fortune and threw out a lot of good spices – WARNING-most online recipes for rubs include Chili Powder, leave it out. The good rubs don’t use it. Unless you are rubbing it on your chili, then of course rub-it-in.

***** I need it and I like the look of ***** in a post, kind of dresses it up.

Oh and Ho, Ho, Ho and Merry Christmas

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grilled Veggies

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

This one is a bit embarrassing – this old cowboy cook eats vegetables, yep. I gave up the all meat and bread diet a few years back. Best thing about this BBQ pile of vegetables is that they taste really good. And you can eat a big ol’ steak with it or a giant burger. Chicken if you have some

-Here it is-

Scrape down the old grill, light it, and turn it up as high as she will go – close the lid and go in the house. If you use charcoal pour a whole bag of it in the grill get it goin’ good and let it heat for an hour or so.

1. Dice 2 potatoes (each about the size of the palm of your hand)

2. Dice a tennis ball sized sized onion-make sure you read this step over again-if you dice up a tennis ball this whole thing will be ruined.

3. Slice up one nice sized carrot, slices about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. (nice and thin) If you have those little bitty carrots cut them in half.

4. One teaspoon of finely chopped red, green or yellow peppers – Please one teaspoon only, more for looks than taste here

Spray a lot of spray cooking oil on a 18 inch long sheet of tin foil (that’s what we called it in my day and I don’t want to say aluminum foil as I am not sure how to spell aluminum)

Dump all the chopped veggies on the sheet of foil (cleverly not using any metal names before the word foil)

Season with liberal amounts of: Salt, Pepper, Sage and a sprinkle of celery seed (to taste)

Spray another bunch of cooking spray on the pile of vegetables and plop a dollop of butter in the center (if you do not have real butter –forget this step, don’t mess it up with margarine)

Fold up foil around and over and pinch tight on the top

Open up the grill-it should be about 600 degrees by now-place on top rack and close (do it quick, don’t lose the heat)

If this step singes your eyebrows or burns the hair from your arms-do not-do not- put butter on the burns. You already have enough butter in the veggies

Go get the meat ready and put it on the bottom rack and cook

The veggies will only take about 10 or 12 minutes if you keep the lid on the grill closed. If you can’t stand it and have to peek and open the grill and pull back the foil to check your food you may need to move these to the the bottom for awhile.

Serve with choice of meat and Iced Tea or your favorite diet soda


Friday, July 6, 2012

S’mores, Smoke and other Stuff

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

Nothing reminds me more of summer camping than s’mores, that delicious kid treat that I still love in retirement. And what’s good about it? Everything, it’s gooey, chocolaty, (not sure that chocolaty is really a word, just think - melted Hershey bar in the middle of marshmallows and graham crackers - you get the idea), and they are warm and delicious.

Ingredients-enough to make six S’mores

*12 Graham Crackers, one on top one on the bottom

*15 Marshmallows two in the middle of each s’more and three to snack on as you work making these babies

*7 Chocolate Bars (I prefer Hershey’s, the plain with the cool little breaking squares) one per s’more and one to snack away on as you work.

Did you know that s’more first showed up in 1927? A Girl Scout hand book/cookbook entitled, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. They called these mouth waterers, (I may have made up a second word there) some more, since you really could not eat only one. Later with a mouth full of food it likely sounded like they were saying s’more instead of some more, although this sounds more like something I would have said (the talking with the mouth full) in my Cub Scout days, or maybe last week.

Build a great little camp fire or use your propane grill but the campfire cannot be beat if you have a place plus hot dogs over an open fire are delicious, no matter how old you are.

The rest is simple lay out the bottom graham crackers, unwrap Hershey bars and place on top of graham crackers then roast marshmallows over the fire, as soon as they catch fire pull them back, blow out the fire, (hum Happy Birthday if you wish) drop on chocolate bar, slap on the other cracker and eat immediately.

Great summer treat and best if eaten and made with grand kids in a great/favorite picnic area.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Great Steaks

Friends sent us Omaha Steaks as a retirement gift. Wow-as good as advertised, no wonder they have been in business for such a long time.
Some new recipes forthcoming, (afterall it is, cook-it-on-the-grill-time) not for the steaks but some good old fashioned Crazy Cooking in Wyoming stuff.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Been away a long time-much too long for me and I hope for my followers. Since I last posted I have retired and moved to a nice little town on the Oregon Trail just east of Laramie Peak. No, I didn’t go crazy, I just retired, (still live in Wyoming, will never leave). Retiring was a tough decision, but a decision almost everyone will make some day. Not sure what a typical retirement will look like yet, hope to rev up my blogs again, write a bunch and travel. This month we have had grandkids most every day- but school will start again and September will tell what our real retirement will be. I am sure it will be both good and bad, I feel bad that I will no longer spend my days with a classroom full of high school students, but am happy to not have to read any more papers, post any more grades, or attend any more in-service.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Buttered Noodles Chicken Parmesan

Just For Fun Easy/Crazy Cooking from Wyoming
Neil Waring Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert and not bad in the kitchen either, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

Buttered Noodles Chicken Parmesan   - One of my favorites—this is good and meets my number one requirement, its quick!

Ingredients (my stuff list)

One can of chicken chunks - (yes, you purist types can use chicken breasts, frozen or fresh, just chunk up about a can full and get started.

Noodles - The hard, cheap, crunchy kind – nothing like the ones grandma used to make.

Butter – I like the unsalted, but I am an old guy, do not substitute margarine. Remember when we called it oleo? Some of the new better butter substitutes might work here.

Salt, Pepper, Sage, and Celery Seed – all to taste, go easy with the celery seed first time around.

Parmesan Cheese – fresh or as fresh as you can find it, PLEASE, none of the dry powder Parmesan from the pizza places, even if it was free.

Boil three or four handfuls of noodles to the al dente stage, (Not too hard, not mushy) to check, take out one noodle and throw at the nearest wall, if it sticks, should be about right – If your spouse is watching you might try just biting a noodle, if it tastes good, go with it-should have a tiny bit of white in the center. Note don’t forget to add salt and some oil to water, and use a big ol’ pan so the stuff won’t stick together.

While the noodles are boiling, open the can of chicken, pour off the liquid and rinse the meat. Not sure where they get the juice the chicken is in or even what it is. Remember mystery meat in the old high school cafeterias? This must be mystery chicken juice. Put chicken in very hot skillet and brown lightly to remove the rest of the nasty mystery liquid. Melt half a stick of butter –or more or less- in a big ol’ soup bowl in the microwave. This is fun the butter will pop and splatter all over the inside of the microwave, very cool. Might want to cover it to save the marriage.

Drain noodles and season with the four great Wyoming spices listed above, pour butter over and mix good - sprinkle parmesan cheese and cover with chicken. Eat and enjoy – this is good; serve with ice cold Pepsi, Coke or tea.