Sweet potato Sriracha bites.

Sweet potato. Orange, root vegg, tasty! Some people overlook this colorful and tasty root and move on to the “normal potato” section. Well here is something that I whipped up to wake your taste buds and get you out of the regular potato scene.

Recipe:

2-3 sweet potato cut into wedges

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

Salt and pepper

1tbls Worcester sauce

2 tbls sriracha

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Toss everything in a bowl and mix well. Bake at 350f until desired texture, I baked mine just passed cooked. Serve with lemon wedge and perhaps some ranch dressing. Enjoy.

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Sparkling Spring Refresher

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Hey everyone, it was an amazing 25C in Alberta today and was just lovely. I thought about having an ice cold beer to cool down but just wasn’t feeling it. So I am writing this recipe for a hot day that will cool you down and is delish!

Recipe:

2 oranges

3 limes

1 lemon

Splash of grenadine

Ice

Coconut rum

Club soda

Mix the juice of lemon, lime, and orange. Fill Glass with ice, add 1 ounce of mixed fruit juice, 1 ounce coconut rum, and fill to the top with club soda. Garnish with fruit slices, grenadine and maraschino cherries. Chill out an enjoy.

Whiskey Espresso BBQ Sauce

Can you feel the weather changing? That’s right summer is rapidly approaching and all the fun times with it. Let us all be vigilant in our view of summer activities and live life to the full, we can do this by preparing early for BBQ season. Here is a recipe of mine that will amaze you and your guests when it comes time to camp, tail gate, or impress your significant other. Practice makes perfect so get on with it!

Recipe – Whiskey Espresso BBQ Sauce

Ingredients;

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1Tbls harissa chili paste (optional)
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup espresso or instant coffee – double strength
  • 1/2 cup  apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbls liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbls whiskey
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Method;

Saute the onions and garlic until translucent, (a couple of minutes).

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Add the spices and stir.

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Add the rest of the ingredients, and simmer over medium heat.

Allow the sauce to thicken. If you prefer a smooth sauce you can strain the sauce with a colander.

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Drunken vegetarian chili.

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Hey all, I wanted to do a quick blog for you because i made a great tasting “experiment”. We here in Alberta are in the middle of winter, and there are many ways that we try to stay warm and one of the ways is chili! I decided i would make a black bean chili, and just started throwing veggies on the counter with no real plan. I did decide to do something rash and use a whole bottle of malbec…something i have never done before and still do not know why i did it but i’m glad i did. Recipe below:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 cups black beans
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cup kale chopped
  • 2 tbls harrisa paste
  • 1 bottle of Malbec (red wine)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tbls chili powder
  • 1 Tbls onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup corn
  • large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa

Method:

    • Soak beans for 24 hours then rinse
    • Saute’ veggies until soft
    • Add bottle of wine, tomatoes, harrisa paste, beans, and salsa
    • Add spices to taste
    • Simmer until beans are soft
    • Add kale about half hour before serving.

Add water as needed.

Enjoy this great dish to keep you warm this winter.

How to make Harissa chili paste

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As an avid hot sauce guy, I love to try new flavors that pack a punch. I really dig Sriracha and i stumbled upon this hot chili paste that hails from Northern Africa and had to share with all of you.

Ingredients
4 ounces dried chiles (I used Thai chiles)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 to 4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Soften the chiles with boiling water
  2. Toast the caraway, coriander, and cumin in a dry skillet over low-medium heat, occasionally shaking or stirring to prevent burning. When you start to really smell the spices rmove from heat
  3. Grind the spices
  4. Drain the chiles.
  5. Stem and seed the chiles
  6. Combine the chiles, ground spices, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
  7. Drizzle in the olive oil and process to form a smooth and thick paste. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally
  8. Top with olive oil and store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make seriously delicious pulled pork!

A savory yet familiar smell fills the cool air as the smoker is warming up and the excitement of putting on a Pork butt gets a guy just a little giddy. This time honored way of cooking a pork roast comes with a tradition that has been handed down for generations. Pulled pork a BBQ delight.

Let’s begin the step by step process to making pulled pork. Firstly one needs to buy a pork shoulder, often called a Boston butt. Why? In pre-revolutionary New England and into the American Revolutionary War, some pork cuts ones not those highly valued, were packed into casks or barrels (also known as “butts”) for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as Boston butt.

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                                Boston Butt

The next step is to trim off any thick areas of fat and leave approximately 1/8 – 1/4 inch.

Next, liberally apply a rub to the pork, i used a special mixture i have been working on for quite some time and basically it has a little sweet with a little heat. The rub i make includes sea salt, spices, very little sugar, and garlic. After you rub the pork down let the pork rest for 30 minutes.

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Next, insert a temperature probe into the meat. I put my pork on the BBQ/smoker at a temperature of around 150C, i like the hot and fast method. We are looking for a final temperature of 95C.

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       Hot and fast at around 150C

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Temperature probe in thickest part of the pork

When the pork has reached a temperature of around 85C wrap the pork in heavy tinfoil with just a small amount of apple juice and replace the temperature probe. Next put the meat back on the smoker until it reaches 95C.

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                   Beautiful pork shoulder

When the temperature of 95C is reached pull the pork out and let it rest for about half hour, then pull out the bone.

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Next pull the pork apart with a couple of forks.

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Now finally you can load up your bun and place some coleslaw on top with a small amount of BBQ sauce if you wish. Or skip the bun all together and have a low carb meal.

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I hope you will take the time to try this great meal and just for the Sherpa readers i will include the dry rub recipe. Have a great day all!

Pork dry rub recipe

Ingredients Amount
Sea Salt 2 tablespoons
 Ginger ground 1 tablespoons
Brown sugar 2 tablespoons
Coriander ground 2 tablespoons
Cumin powder 1 tablespoons
Black pepper 3 tablespoons
Garlic powder 3 tablespoons
Onion powder 1 tablespoons
Cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon
Paprika 1/4 cup paprika

How to make bacon!

Some of the best memories I have is waking up on a Saturday morning and walking in the kitchen to see my mother cooking breakfast with the smell of bacon in the air. The smoky goodness of bacon is a taste and smell that many love. So let’s try something new and make our own bacon, i have heard that once you go home made you don’t go back to store bought.

Step 1: Get a pork belly or pork side from the butcher, and take off the skin with a sharp knife.

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Step 2: Depending on the weight of the pork belly the cure mixture amounts will vary, for the side piece that i got, it was smaller than the recipe so a quick conversion will get the right amounts. For a 2.25kg piece mix together in a bowl;

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I had read a few recipes that included espresso powder and thought that might be interesting so I added 30 ml  of ground Dominican coffee.

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Step 3: Once the mix is done coat and rub the cure on the pork making sure all sides are liberally coated and then vacuum sealed or in a Ziploc bag and put into the fridge for 5-7 days.

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Step 4: Every day make sure you flip the piece of pork and massage the pork for a minute or so.

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Step 5: When the pork is done curing, pull it out and very thoroughly rinse off all the cure mixture under cold water. Next let this sit uncovered in the fridge for 12 hrs, or have a fan blow directly on the pork for about 4 hours to let the pork form a pellicle. A pellicle is a skin or coating of proteins on the surface of meat, which allow smoke to better adhere the surface of the meat during the smoking process. This coating becomes tacky after about 12 hours.

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Step 5: It is now time to smoke the bacon for about 3-4 hours at a temperature of 90C. Toward the end of the smoke, ensure the pork reaches an internal temperature of 66C.

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Step 6: Put the pork in the fridge for a couple of hours, of course this step is not necessary but it is so much nicer slicing it when cool and firm.

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Step 7: Oh yeah, cook it up!

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So there you have it, how to make your own bacon at home. The nice thing is you control what goes into your food and flavor it however you want. We had this bacon on home made burgers and just wow the smokiness was delicious. If you care about great quality food give this recipe a try, you wont regret it!