Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot 2 Trot Collard Green Mini Corn Muffins!

The Holiday Get Together & Gathering Season is upon us and the call for easy to prepare snacks is at an all time high! Having a spicy bite to eat to nibble on a must for any party. Here is a small pass around snack that is easy to prepare and darn tasty!
Corn Muffins? Not a very exciting snack you say?
Well, these Tango Mini Corn Muffins are not your every day, run of the mill snack of crumbly & dusty tumbleweeds of the appetizer table - Oh Not By Any Means! This recipe is moist, light & fluffy, with just the right amount of heat as well, thanks to the addition of Tango Spice Hot 2 Trot Blend.
Whip up a batch of these and watch them disappear! Of course, they are so good that they may disappear even before your guests arrive!

Hot 2 Trot Collard Green Corn Muffins!

Makes 48 mini muffins


2 Boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 TBS Tango Spice Hot 2 Trot Blend^^

4 Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 14 oz Can Allen's Seasoned Collard Greens / Completely Drained

2 TBS Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion
1 Clove Garlic / Minced


In a medium bowl blend corn muffin mix & Hot 2 Trot, set aside.
In a large bowl, blend whisk the eggs to break up yokes.
add milk and cottage cheese, blend well.
Add drained collard greens, blend well.
Add the corn muffin mix, stir until everything is incorporated.
Set aside and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet sauté onion to soften just a little, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic, turn off the heat and stir to combine. Allow to cool for the remainder of the 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350
After the the 20 minutes are up, fold the onion & garlic into the muffin mix. No need to be aggressive here, just gently incorporate them in.
Grease mini muffin pan* and place one tablespoon of mix in each.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on your oven, until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minute before removing from pan. A plastic knife will help where the collard green may stick, though these should just pop out.

These light & fluffy treats are great by themselves or with a dash of hot sauce on top. The size it just right to drop a couple into a bowl of steaming chili.

* For a 13 X 9 pan, bake for 35 to 40 minutes. These are good, but less fluffy than the minis.
* For 2 TBS regular sized muffin, bake for 14 to 16 minutes. These are lighter than the pan baked, but still not as fluffy as the minis.
^^ Any Tango Spice Blend can be substituted. For the spiciest bite, try our Tango Verde!

A Few Simple Ingredients
Tango In The Center Of The Action!
Nice & Fluffy!
Makes A Great Plate!
Go Ahead, Have A Bite!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Monday Morning Report!

   This morning I took a short walk to the end of the block to see how the surf was acting as Hurricane Sandy was approaching Long Island.
   This is what I saw - an update that is short and to the point.
   May have to go out again in a little bit to see how up the surf actually is!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tango Verde Immune Boosting Soup!

When the winds of fall start to blow, the humble bowl of soup starts to take center stage on many a menu. A couple of years back our neighbor Melissa gave is a recipe for what she called Immune Boosting Soup. That first batch was a very tasty soup indeed, and it surely did take the chill off a dark autumn evening. 
This particular version of Immune Booting Soup gets a little spiced up thanks to the addition of our very own Tango Verde Green Chili Powder. The combination of Jalapeño & Habenero powders in Tango Verde will give this soup a nice kick. After a bowl of this you will definitely be feeling the warmth flowing throughout your entire self.
Of course, adding more of the Tango Verde will always be a heart warming option.

Tango Verde Immune Boosting Soup

2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
4 Garlic Cloves / crushed
1 Inch Ginger Root / peeled and minced fine
2 Leeks / washed & chopped fine
3 Shitake Mushrooms / chopped

5 Cups Hot Water
5 Asparagus Stalks / chopped
1 tsp Tango Spice Tango Verde* (or more)

2 TBS White Miso

Heat olive oil over medium high heat until it shimmers.
Add the carrots and sauté for 1 minute.
Add garlic, ginger & leeks, sauté for 3 minutes.
Add shitake, sauté for one minute. 
Add water and bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer on medium low for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put miso in a small bowl, ladle out one cup of broth, add to bowl and stir to dissolve miso.
Add miso mixture to soup and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Right before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro or basil.

*Tango Spice's Hot 2 Trot or Southwest Sunset blends also work great in this recipe.


One more thing that we have enjoyed about this soup is that it works excellent as a base for heartier, meatier soups. Simply by adding any left over pulled pork, smoked brisket, grilled chicken or bbq rib meat, you have a soup that can also please the meat eaters at the table.

Please let me know if you decide to try this recipe.

Gather The Ingredients

Dice Them Nice & Small

Enjoy Some Healthy & Spicy Soup

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Practice Chicken Thighs!

What's not to like about chicken thighs? Small, easy to prepare and full of that dark meat chicken goodness. In my fledgling quest to get better at BBQ and one day to perhaps compete I have been trying  each of the four main competition food groups. There is of course brisket, ribs, pulled pork and chicken.
Chicken Thighs were on the menu for this 'practice cook'. I started with a family pack of eight thighs which were on sale for 99 cents a pound. One thing I have been finding is that when you do score a good price on thighs, they are far from the best trimmed, so even at a low price you are paying for some waste.
The thighs were put in a plastic container and covered with a combination of a 12 ounce Lawry's Chile Lime marinade and 1 cup of Frank's hot sauce. Those sat in the fridge for about 5 hours. After marination the thighs were placed on a cutting board where I trimmed off any excess skin & fat. I also cut off the joints from the bones. This seems to help roll them into a more uniform shape.
After that it was a nice coating of Tango's Chik 'N Rib Rub.
Smoked these on the Weber Smokey Mountain at about 230 degrees.
After 90 minutes the chicken was coated with a glaze made from a 50/50 mixture of inexpensive bbq sauce and agave nectar. This combination is tangy and sweet and also sets up real nice.
After the first glazing the temps were checked and a little more of the sauce mixture was applied until they got to an internal temp of 165. The chicken was then taken off and covered for a few minutes to cool of just a bit.
The chicken came out really nice, very tender and juicy. Still not up to competition levels but getting there. The left over chicken made an amazing chicken salad as well.

As Always, Thank You For Reading!
Tango Spice Company!
Tango Spice On YouTube
Tango Spice On Facebook

Regular Charcoal & Apple Wood

Getting The Coals Started

Coated & Ready

On The WSM - Let's Practice

Time To Sauce


Ready To Eat!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Beef Ribs!

I was walking through Restaurant Depot the other day and saw a good price on some beef ribs and knew I had to have me some!

These were cooked on the Sweet Home Pellet Smoker @ 220 for just over five hours.

To Foil Or Not To Foil - that was the question and I decided to try the foil method on the ribs. Not matter how ya Q if the food comes out tasting so darn great it's all good!

Before rubbin' the ribs with our Midnight Espresso I coated each rack with a 2 to 1 mixture of yellow mustard and Worcestershire Sauce.

After three hours at 220 I foiled the racks with a little pilsner beer and set them back on for 60 minutes. After that it was time to get out of the foil and back in the smoker.

One rack was then sauced twice with Pumpkin Patch Smokey Rib Sauce, while the other was just left with only the Midnight Espresso.

Darn happy with the way they turned out, tender and darned tasty. Even have some left over for a future meal. Smoked Beef Rib Dumplings?

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Mustard & Wooster Sauce

Coated With Midnight Espresso
Hit The Pellet Smoker
One Hour Gone 
Three Hours & Ready For Foil
Foil & Beer
After 1 Hour Foiled - Back In The Smoker
Five Hours - Ready To Eat!
Can't Wait To Dig In!
Look At That Smoke Ring!
Nice Plate

Monday, July 2, 2012

Southwest Peach Salsa!

Summer Of Salsa!

Summer is here and the air has taken on that sometimes stifling feel to it. With temps in the mid 90s for the past few days it is nice to whip up something quick that is both tasty and refreshing.
Here is a sweet & spicy salsa that is easy to prepare and really hits the spot on a hot day.
With farm stands and grocer's shelves stocked with peaches, there is no way to you can pass up this summertime treat.

1 Cup Diced Peaches**
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
2 Jalapeños / roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
2 TBS Chopped Cilantro
1 TBS Agave Nectar
1 TBS Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Tango Spice Southwest Sunset

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, blend well.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

This is a great salsa, sweet and spicy. Get it real chilled and it tastes so good on a hot day.

**When using the peaches you can go one of two ways.
Use less than ripe peaches, which are quite snappy for a crunchier salsa.
Use the ripe peaches for a juicier & sweeter salsa.
This salsa is best made and eaten the same day
Also, spoon this over a fresh off the grill pork chop and you are Good To Go!

Here Are The Ingredietns
Southwest Sunset - So Good In Salsa
Those Jalapeños Are Sweating
Let's Roast Some Peppers

Lookin' Good

Grab A Chip

Heck, Grab A Spoon!

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tango Brew Buns!

I needed a decent burger bun for a YouTube burger contest hosted by Ballistic BBQ. I found a recipe for a beer bun that sounded pretty darn good so I did a little adapting and came up with this. Guinness gets these burger buns off to a great start!

2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water

2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Bottle Guinness / room temp and flat
3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (plus more, if necessary)
1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 TBS Non-Diastatic Malt Powder (optional but oh so good)
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch Sugar
1 tsp Tango Spice Southwest Sunset

1 egg
Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds, Flax seeds or rolled oats, for topping

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add agave nectar, oil, and Guinness. Add dry ingredients mix by hand until well combined.

After the dough is mixed well, turn to medium speed and knead for 5-7 minutes (adding additional whole wheat flour 2 Tbsp at a time if necessary) until sides of the bowl are cleaned and the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic until it doubles in size. 
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half.

From one half I formed 3 buns and from the other half I formed two buns. Place buns 1/2 inch apart on a lined baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes.

The three smaller buns turned out to be the standard size roll, the larger two are just under twice the size.

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk the egg with 1 TBS warm water.

Brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with seeds or oats, or both.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned. 

Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

These rolls were amazing!

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Clam Scape Bacon Explosion!

Sunday June 17th.
Father's day was a nice and relaxing one. A little yard work, some cold beer while playing some horseshoes and some chicken and a new fatty recipe on the WSM.
Good times, good times.
Here is how the fatty was put together this time.

Clam Scape Bacon Explosion.

1 TBS Butter or Bacon Fat
1/2 Cup Chopped Garlic Scapes
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Jalapeños 
4 8oz Can Chopped Clams /drained
1/2 Cup Crushed Kashi Cereal
2 TBS Yellow Mustard
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Ortega Roasted Chile Peppers / drained

1 Lb Bacon
1 Lb Hot Italian Sausage / bulk style, not links

These are rather typical directions for making a 'bacon bomb'.
Spray the inside of a one gallon zip lock bag with PAM. Using PAM inside the bag helps it to release later. Place sausage inside of the bag and flatten out evenly. Leave the zip open to let the air out. Place in fridge.
Heat the butter or bacon fat in a skillet to medium high. Sauté the scapes, onion & jalapeños for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the clams. Stirring constantly, cook for 3 to 4 minutes then add the Kashi. Turn off the heat and stir until all the moisture has been absorbed by the Kashi. Set aside to cool.
Once the filling has cooled completely mix in the mustard and the cheese. Incorporate well.
Lay out a large piece of saran wrap and lay out your bacon weave. You can sprinkle your favorite seasoning on the bacon, if you wish. Cut the edges of the one gallon bag away and lay the square sausage patty on the bacon.
Here you can either spread the clam scape mixture out on the sausage or put the mix into a 'fatty piston' and shoot the goodness out in a log. This method works great, giving you a nice filling.
Now all you have to do is roll it up and get it on the smoker.
I smoked this one for about two hours at 250, then spread some bbq sauce on it, letting it cook for about another 20 minutes to set the sauce. 
The combination of the hot sausage, the spicy clam filling and bacon was darn good.
It is becoming obvious that you can put just about anything inside a fatty and it will be good.

A Few Simple Ingredients

Scapes, Jalapeños & Onions

Saute For A Bit

Add The Clams

Season With Some Hot 2 Trot

Squirt Some Yellow Mustard

Get Your Sausage On The Bacon

Add Those Ortega Chiles

This Is What A 'Fatty Piston' Can Do

Nice Filling

Ready To Smoke!

Season Once Again

Getting Crispy

Look At That Sauce

Looks Like A Giant Next To The Chicken Thighs


All Smoked & Ready


As Always, Thank You For Reading!

To learn more about the Fatty Piston, read this from Cowgirl's Country Life.