Sunday, February 23, 2014

Twist & Shout Chicken Thighs!

Saturday was an amazing day for the simple fact it was not raining, it was not snowing and the temps were in the 50s! A spring-like day in winter, we take the little joys where we can get them.
While out back taking stock of how the ice and snow has messed with the yard and the plants it seemed like a good day to light a fire in the fire pit and whip up something tasty in the Dutch oven.
One thing you will note about most of my Dutch oven cooking is that I am not good at coal counting and getting the temps just right. I have counted coals a few times, but mostly I am lazy and just light a fire and get cooking.
Here is a cook inspired by a recipe I saw at Every Day Dutch Oven. This is a superb resource that I found and will be going back to over and over.
Saturday's meal was a very good one with just 8 plump chicken thighs. I placed a wire rack in the Dutch oven to keep the chicken off the bottom and this worked out really well. I was lucky enough to find a small, round rack in our 'stash of stuff' that fit perfectly.
After a nice bed of coals had formed I put a rack in the fire pit that was about eight inches above the heat. I was able to add some smaller pieces of wood to keep the heat up and also take some of the coals to place on the lid of the DO. Every once in a while after the first 40 minutes I would lift the lid and see how the chicken skin was looking. I kept a nice amount of hot coals on the lid until the skin got nice and crisp.
Have to say that these were some of the best chicken thighs I have ever had, super moist, just a tad bit spicy and the skin was very crisp. Because of the rack the fat rendered out of the skin and did not make the meat greasy.
Here is how I cooked these up. All on the fly, so you may have to adjust times and such when you try this in your back yard. I will definitely be making these again, many times!

Twist & Shout Chicken Thighs - Dutch Oven Style!

1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
juice of half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 TBS Tango Spice Twist & Shout

8 chicken thighs / bone-in, skin on

My method:
Combine yogurt, lemon juice and Twist & Shout whisk until smooth.
Place chicken in large zip-lock bag; add yogurt mixture, turning to coat.
Refrigerate over night, or at least 4 hours.
Lightly grease dutch oven, place rack in the bottom.
Remove chicken from marinade and arrange in single layer on the rack.
Bake over hot coals for 50 to 60 minutes with hot coals on the lid as well.
After 40 minutes lift the lid to check the doneness of the skin.
When the skin looks good to you, remove the chicken to a platter and let cool for a few minutes.

This cook was inspired by a recipe found at Every Day Dutch Oven.

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Get That Fire Started!

Those Coals Were About Perfect!

Ready To Cook!

Now We're Cookin' Dutch Oven Style!

You Could Hear The Sizzle Down The Block!

Time To Crisp That Skin!

Almost There!

We Need More Heat For The Skin!

Now Those Are Some Nice Thighs!

Look At That Color!

This Is A Meal!

Dig In Everyone!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tango Joe's Pulled Pork Lasagna Verde!

On a snowy Sunday during the President's Day weekend it was a good time to look into the meat freezer to see what was there for some left-over goodness. One package of frozen food was a 16 ounce pack of Wicked Good Pulled Pork from one of our latest videos. Always nice when you find something so tasty in the freezer just waiting to be turned into something new and amazing.
Let's make something just a little out of the ordinary.

All the ingredients can be optional (except for the Tango Verde), use your imagination and whatever you have on hand to whip up a great dish 

Tango Joe's Pulled Pork Lasagna Verde!

1 Pound Pulled Pork / cut if shreds are too long
16 OZ Freshly Shredded Roman Cheese / never use pre-shredded, plus 1/2 cup
16 OZ Sliced Mozzarella Cheese / you can use fresh shredded
16 OZ Whole Milk Ricotta / why use part skim
1 10 Can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 Large Egg / slightly beaten
2 TBS Tango Spice Tango Verde Green Chili Powder
Lasagna Noodles / I used Barilla oven ready no cook
1 Jalapeño Pepper / sliced and seeded
8X8 glass baking dish

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg. Add the ricotta cheese and Tango Verde. Blend well and place into a one gallon sealable bag. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Pour two tablespoons enchilada sauce into bottom of baking dish, lay two pieces of lasagna noodles on the bottom.
Spread one third of the grated Romano cheese over the noodles
Spread one third of the pulled pork on the cheese
Squeeze one third of the Tango Verde ricotta mix over the pork
Spread one third of the mozzarella over the ricotta
Put a couple of table spoons of the enchilada sauce over the mozzarella
Repeat twice more
On the last layer, pour all the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire dish.
Spread the last 1/2 cup Romano cheese over the sauce.
Place jalapeño slices randomly on top.

Heat the oven to 350
Loosely cover the dish with foil and place on center rack.
After 30 minutes remove the foil to get some color on the cheese.
When bubbling hot remove and place on counter to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Dig in and enjoy.

This was SO GOOD!
Please give this or your version of this a try and let me know how you love it!

Thanks to Linda @ Linda's Pantry for getting me the Wicked Good sauce for the pork

Thanks to Tom @ Tom's Test Kitchen for the heads up in the no-cook lasagna

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

How About Some More Pics!

Gather Your Ingredients!

Gotta Have Some Green Sauce!

Teach That Ricotta To Tango Verde!

Add Your Sauce!

Lay Down Your Noodles!

Spread Your Pulled Pork

Now Squeeze On That Ricotta Verde

A Little More Sauce On The Mozzarella

Almost Done!

Ready To Be Topped Off!

Yeah Man - Jalapeños!

Get A Little Closer!

Now You Are Baked!

Time To Dig In@

Yes - Tango Verde Lasagna Perfection!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dutch Oven Rice with Smoked Sausage

    Saturday afternoon on a cold winter's day was a day for indoor stuff. No need to go outside for anything except the cold beer stuck in the snow drift just outside the basement door. A great day for organizing and going through the outdoor cooking stuff that awaits the next above freezing day.
    Don't get me wrong, we still like to cook outside, but some days the comfort of the Tango Bar is hard to pass up.
    While messing with all sorts of this and that there was ample time to set up the small buffet stove, heat up the Dutch oven and cook up hearty, rib sticking meal.
    In the fridge was some Johnsonville Smoked Sausage, half a red onion and there was some other good stuff in the cupboard and the freezer. 
    For the rice I used a mixture of one cup whole grain rice and one cup of yellow rice prepared ahead of time in the rice cooker.
    This came out really well, very warming on this chilled February night.
    Here's how it all cooked up.

Tango Dutch Oven Rice with Smoked Sausage

2 TBS Bacon Fat
1 Cup Chopped Red Onion
10 oz Bag Frozen Chopped Red & Green Bell Pepper
2 Cups Cooked Rice / any variety
1 lb Smoked Sausage / sliced on the bias
1 15 oz Can Black Eyed Peas / drained and rinsed
2 10 oz Cans Ro-Tel Tomatoes & Peppers / do not drain
2 TBS Dried Minced Garlic / re-hydrated
2 TBS Tango Spice Cajun Rub

In a Dutch oven or a deep cast iron skillet, heat bacon fat over medium heat.
Sauté sausage, stirring often until it's a nice, darkened color.
Remove to a bowl, set aside.
Add the onion & bell pepper to the skillet, sauté until they begin to soften.
Add tomatoes, garlic & Cajun Rub, stir to combine, simmer 10 minutes.
Add the sausage, simmer for 20 minutes.
Add rice & black eyes peas.
Stir and let cook until warmed through, adding more liquid if desired.
Serve warm right out of the Dutch Oven.

    I hope that you have the chance to cook up a steaming pot of this dish, it really hits the spot.

As Always, Thank You For Reading!

Sizzling Nicely

Tough To Resist Eating Now!

Cookin' Away!

Let's Dish It!

Now - Dig In!

This Was So Good!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spicy Pumpkin Bread - Sugar Free!

The other day was a 'snow day' and it made sense to take advantage of being indoors to bake some quick bread. I knew that in the pantry was canned pumpkin and all the other stuff needed for a sweet & spicy loaf of goodness. Upon realizing that there was no sugar in the house I went looking for a way to substitute. Not being a 'real' baker I do not know these things instinctively - so lucky for me the internet in but a click away to save the day.

After re-arranging the recipe to suit what I had on hand, this is what was baked up. It did not have the sweetness of pumpkin bread with the sugar, but was on a taste level all its own. Subdued sweet paired with the underlying heat was a darn nice combination.

This would be an awesome dessert. Take a slice and heat it up, then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

So, here is the recipe I used, give it a try and please let me know how yours turns out.

Spicy Sugar Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

1 ½ Cups AP Flour
1 ½ Cups Whole-Wheat Flour
1 TBS Tango Spice Southwest Sunset (or red chili powder)
1 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 TBS Flax Seed
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
4 Eggs
1 Cup Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar / amber
1 tsp Vanilla
1 15.5 oz Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Cup Fresh Cranberries / chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly beat eggs, add oil, honey, and vanilla, blend together in a small bowl.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture.
Stir together thoroughly with a fork, but do not over-mix.
Fold in the pumpkin puree and cranberries.
Generously grease 2 bread loaf pans, pour in the batter.
Bake for approximately 35 – 45 minutes.

Check for doneness by making sure a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I hope that you give this a try.

As Always, Thank You For Reading!