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Discussion in 'Swamp Cook Shack' started by g8orbill, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    The thread has long been opened to anyone...

    Soon, we'll have an entire database where all sorts of categories and topics can be opened, others recipes, requests, tips, tailgating, etc.

    The idea just came up last night on the baked potato thread, so post it here for now.
  2. BillGator97

    BillGator97 Power Wheelchair Bowler VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Central Florida
    We recently enjoyed this. My stepmom made it. She said it was a good bit of work, but all in all, a nutritious and tasty meal. My dad had three bowls the first night! Thanks again for sharing. :)
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  3. phatGator

    phatGator GC Hall of Fame

    Dec 3, 2007
    Dayton, Ohio
    So I made this with a couple modifications. I used yogurt and almond milk instead of cream. I did go off the reservation with the peppers. We had a couple jalapeños and a long red pepper I didn’t know what it was. I roasted them along with about 6 poblano.

    Turns out roasting intensifies the heat. Also turns out the red pepper was a cayenne. The soup was fire in a bowl!

    I cut it with some chicken stick and added some potatoes to reduce the heat and then it was quite good. I made so much that each time we ate it I threw in other things like other vegetables. My daughter and her fiancé really liked it. I will make this again. Thanks!
  4. phatGator

    phatGator GC Hall of Fame

    Dec 3, 2007
    Dayton, Ohio
    Also, in 1995 I was at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas for a work meeting and ate cream of jalapeño soup at lunch. I have been waiting since then for a good recipe.

    As an aside, that day the Fairmont was hosting the Doak Walker awards. Eddie George won it. Couldn’t manage to crash the luncheon. Guards have no sense of humor!
  5. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    We had a really good discussion about baked potatoes...

    Now, time for some potato facts;

    For a good baked potato, ALWAYS choose a large Russet potato. The more evenly sized, the more evenly cooked.

    Wash and scrub it thoroughly, (it IS a root). Pierce it with a fork on all sides, (do NOT go "Freddy Kreuger" on it) to allow the inner steam to escape, so you don't end up with a mushy and starchy potato.

    Rub vegetable oil over the surface, to allow the skin to crisp a bit, and sprinkle some Kosher Salt over it, since the "starches", (let's not get into the chemistry right now) react nicely to the salt, and release more flavor.

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and place the potatoes right on the oven racks, (NOTE: Not on a baking sheet, not wrapped in foil... Foil will prevent the steam from escaping, and result in a starchy and mushy potato)

    Bake for one hour. You'll know if they're done when you can feel the potato's softness as you squeeze it. if it's still too firm, let it bake for another 15 minutes.

    Once out of the oven, make a slit in the top of the potato, and gently push at all four sides. The potato will "magically" open, to eagerly accept your favorite toppings. (Butter, Bacon, Green Onion, Sour Cream, etc.)

    Now, on to the the uses of various potatoes.

    Russets, best for baking and mashing, are so because they are considered "High Starch" Potatoes. They mash well because of that starch content.

    Red Potatoes, a "Low Starch" potato, as well as "fingerling", which are now being grown in various colors,are best for boiling, roasting, grilling and using in soups, stews, pot roast, potato salads, etc. because they hold together much better. You can also combine them with russets in mashing, leaving the skin on, to make a mashed potato that has more "body", or little soft chunks in it.

    Potatoes marketed as "baby reds, baby this or that, are simply that... potatoes harvested early. The only "advantage" is they can be cooked whole, for eye appeal.

    Light-slinned potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, California New, etc. are a "medium starch" potato, and do not bake or mash well, ... They are much better suited for "Gratin" or "Scalloped" potatoes, requiring some filling and dairy in their layering, and baking in a casserole style dish.

    Hope this clarifies some things. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Happy Eating!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    I spoke briefly about the "medium starch" potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, California New, etc. basically the "thin skinned" potatoes.

    Due to their starch, ( and chemichal breakdown ) composition, these are best suited for "Gratin", or "Scalloped" dishes.

    A great Gratin recipe follows;


    3 Lbs Yukon Gold potatoes wahsed, and partially peeled
    2 Cups Half & Half
    4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, smashed and minced
    1 Sweet Onion, chopped and sautee'd in 2 Tbsp Butter, cooled
    1/2 Cup Chantrelle or Shitake Mushrooms
    1/4 Cup Gruyere Cheese, grated
    1/4 Cup Parmegiana/Reggiano Cheese, grated
    2 Tsp Salt
    1 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
    2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves (NOT the whole sprigs)
    2 Tbsp Softened Butter


    Using a Mandolin, or "vegetable slicer", and USING THE HAND GUARD! (You do NOT want fingernails, or worse, getting into your mixture!)...
    Slice the potatoes about 1 1/16" thin. Place them into a bowl of lightly salted water so they don't turn brown

    In an 8"x12" baking dish, coat the entire bottom and sides with the butter. (you don't want to use a chisel to get your gratin off the bottom or sides)

    Lay out a layer of potatoes, slightly overlapping each potato as you go. once you have made one layer, loosely place some sautee'd onions, a few mushrooms, a few Thyme leaves, and a light sprinkle of salt & pepper.
    Layer some of both the Gruyere and Parmesiano/Reggiano cheeses, and continue to layer.

    Once you have reached the top layer of potatoes, pour the Half & Half into the pan, gently and evenly press down, until you can see the cream coming back up through the sides and the potatoes.
    Layer on the final mix of the cheeses in an even layer, and cover LOOSELY with foil. (you don't want to "steam" the poootatoes and mix, you want to BAKE it)

    Place into a PREHEATED 400 degree oven, and bake for 50 minutes. To test doneness, stick a knife into the middle of the pan, if the potatoes feel softer and yielding, remove the foil, and bake for about another 20-25 minutes, to allow the top to brown nicely WITHOUT BURNING!

    Remove from oven, and place on heat-resistant surface.
    This will remain hot for another 20 minutes. You can also let it sit safely for about 40 minutes, and actually slice it, and serve it in squares, etc.
  7. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    OK, Folks.... Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and much to the chagrin of many feathered gobblers, (but to the delight of many HUMAN gobblers)... comes a huge question for so many people who have encountered the problem of Dry, chalky overdone Breast meat, and sometimes still "underdone" thighs.

    One question is.... "To Brine or Not To Brine?"

    Taking the extra step to brine your turkey adds moisture, and if desired, hints of the flavors of the Autumn season.
    Another great option, along with brining, is to cook your Breast and your Thighs & Legs separately, (but we'll get to that in the next post)

    To brine the whole turkey, try this great recipe;


    3 Cups Apple Cider
    2 Cups Brown Sugar
    3/4 Cup Kosher Salt
    3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
    Approx. 8 Leaves Fresh Thyme
    5 Bay Leaves
    2 Tbsp Mixed (Tri-colored) Peppercorns
    6 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
    Peel of 3 -4 Lg. Oranges, (in large strips)

    NOTE: Also, your Turkey!


    In large stockpot, combine all ingredients into pot with Two Gallons cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt is dissolved. Turn off the heat ince boiling and cover.

    Allow to cool COMPLETELY, then refrigerate. Once chilled, add the Turkey and refrigerate for 16-24 hours.

    When ready to roast your Turkey, remove from brine, and place into a pot of FRESH water, for about 20 minutes, making sure the bird is "clean" from the brine.... Discard the brine...
    Pat the turkey dry.

    Cook your Turkey however you usually do.. You'll find it MUCH more flavorful, AND, your "white meat" should be much more moist.
  8. rpmGator

    rpmGator GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 10, 2007
    Made BBQ chicken and dumplings yesterday. Pretty much the same as regular chicken and dumplings but I cooked thighs the day before over charcoal and the combination came out better than expected

    Heat the shedded chicken in enough water to do the dumplings also

    Add one can cream of chicken soup

    Bring to boil then add dumplings

    Mom used to make hers by hand but uses McLibs Southern dumplings now as I do

    Break dumplings into small pieces and and stirring them in so they don’t stick

    Lower temp to medium and then low allowing dumplings time to take in liquid

    Stir to keep from sticking and should be ready when noodles are soft

    Should be a touch of water left as they will dry without a little left
    • Like Like x 1
  9. StrangeGator

    StrangeGator GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 3, 2007
    Making white bean chicken chili today. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it more "interesting?" Time is not an issue. I'm well stocked on ingredients but not opposed to going to the store later today when it warms up (to -14). There's an upscale "foodie" grocer just three or four blocks away.
  10. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    What ingredients and seasonings are you planning to use already?

    I can't quite suggest anything that would clash in flavor.

    Some bases could be a good, stout or bock beer, or a decent white wine, but as I said , it's a little rough to "fancy it up" without knowing the basics
  11. gatorbite00

    gatorbite00 Sophomore

    Feb 2, 2019
    Port Orange
    Put a Boston Butt in a Crock Pot and thank me later. Yum...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Sure, if you like bland pork.

    Have you looked through some of the many good recipes here?

    Why not season your pork? You need a liquid for the crockpot. . Perhaps a bit of Apple cider vinegar and a bit of chicken stock (unless you make your own pork stock)

    Salt, pepper , garlic, onion ?

    Do you make any kind of sauces ?
  13. gatorbite00

    gatorbite00 Sophomore

    Feb 2, 2019
    Port Orange
  14. gatorbite00

    gatorbite00 Sophomore

    Feb 2, 2019
    Port Orange
    I do use a lot of Spices in it though. Yes. Very great recipes here...
  15. g8orbill

    g8orbill Old Gator Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Clermont, Fl
    My Grandmother used to make a very similar pie-one of my cousins has the recipe and getting it has proven difficult at best-so I searched the internet and found one as close as I could remember it

    Grandma's Famous Sugar Cream Pie
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Man... Bill,, that sounds like a pie that you can sprinkle some more sugar over each slice, and "brulee'" the top with a torch to make the top just a little more "crackin'".
  17. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    St. Patrick's Day time...which can only mean...

    Corned Beef aand Cabbage.
    So many corned beef come with the instructions to boil it. Many times that results in either a dry, or tough piece of meat.

    A much better method, where you can cook the carrots and cabbage right with it, to get all of that goodness into the veggies, instead of having to cook them separately.

    Braised Corned Beef and Cabbage
    NOTE: You'll need either a Dutch Oven, or a deep roasting pan, or "Hotel Pan"


    1; 3 1/2-4 Lb Corned beef Breisket Flat
    1 Tsp Caraway Seeds
    1 Tsp Ground Black pepper (coarse ground)
    1 Tsp Dried Thyme2 Tsp Kosher Salt
    1 Tsp Ground Coriander2 Tbsp Olive Oil
    1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
    1 Lb. Carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
    2 Onions, sliced
    6 Cloves Garlic, cut in half legnthwise
    5 Bay Leaves
    1 1/2 Cups beef Stock (or broth)
    1 1/2 Lbs Baby Potatoes, (red or white)
    1 Medium sized Head Cabbage, cut into about 12 wedges
    2 Tbsp Butter


    Remove Corned Beef from package, save spice packet, rinse and pat beef dry
    Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
    Combine spices into a bowl, set aside
    Place Olive oil into a large skillet on Medium-high... Sear the brisket on all sides, about 3 minutes peer side
    Coat Corned Beef Brisket with the spice blend
    Place Brisket into a lge roasting pan, or Dutch oven
    Spread Onions, Bay Leaves, carrots, garlic and cabbage around and on top of the beef
    Add the Beef stock , Corned beef seasoning packet, and cover with foil or the dutch oven lid
    Place in oven and braise for 2 hours, or until tender

    Boil potatoes in salted water, toss in butter

    Slice your Corned Beef thinly against the grain (if youdon't, it will be stringy and tough
  18. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    Just heard from a buddy, he makes "beer can burgers"

    You're supposed to use a beer/soda can to make the bowl (hence the "Beer Can Bacon Wrapped Burger") but I just wing it myself

    I use the 80%/20% beef. I've tried it with the leaner types (90%/10% and 93%/7% fat) but the 80/20 is the best because of the fat burning off

    I roll the beef into a giant meatball using anywhere from approximately 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb of beef
    Then use my fingers/thumbs to make a bowl area in the middle
    Fill the bowl with whatever you would like (peppers, jalapeno's, other meat(s), etc) along with chunks of cheese and any spices (salt/pepper, etc) you would like
    Wrap the outside of the burger with raw bacon strips (I usually use 2 or 3 strips per burger depending on size of the strips)
    Cook them off heat (not directly over the coals/heat) turning them every 5-8 min (I usually do a quarter turn each time)
    To fully cook takes usually 25-35 min depending on how "well done" you'd like them and temp of the grill
    The bacon turns out crispy when done right
    • Like Like x 1
  19. shelbygt350

    shelbygt350 GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 3, 2007
    Good idea on those burgers...will try it.

    I take large chicken thighs, skin on, wrap in nitrate hormone free (or use my own made) bacon and cook. Make sure bacon does not burn.

    On the burger thing, I recall Bobby Fray doing something similar with hamburgers, so I adapted. Make large patties, put thumb recess on one side in center and fill each with different spices, stuff like diced jalapeno, diced grilled onions, feta cheese, etc...a variety of this and that. Then over the hole in the center, then cook, near end I would put cheddar or provolone cheese on it. What kind of burger you got was surprise.

    Now onto something insane. I saw a made PB&J sandwich in the kitchen some yrs ago that my daughter had left. So I opened it, diced jalapeno pepper I found, stuffed the middle w/ the pepper, and put it back together then went and sat. She returned and started eating the PB&J....then the surprise. Bad Daddy.
  20. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Had a request for Bar-B-Q Beans... "Sonny's style"

    First, you have to make the Barbeque Sauce

    Bar-B-Q Sauce recipe;


    6 Cups Ketchup
    2 Cups Yellow Mustard
    1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
    6 Tbsp White Sugar
    1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
    1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

    Barbeque Beans;


    1 Lb. Smoked Bacon, Diced
    2 Onions, Diced
    1 Cup Brown Sugar
    4 Lbs Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight and drained
    4 Cups Barbeque Sauce (above)


    Using preferrably a cast iron pot, or large Dutch Oven...

    Over Medium-high heat, cook the bacon, then add the onion directly into the bacon and the bacon fat. stir and cook until the onions are translucent.
    Reduce heat to medium.
    Add the brown sugar and mix well. add the Bar-B-Q sauce and the drained beans.
    Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

    Place pot into a smoker set at 250 degrees, and using hickory and oak, smoke, uncovered for 3 1/2-4 hours, stirring ocassionally.

    NOTE: We used to add some of our slicing "scraps" of beef and pork, which gave it more kick