Hungry Visitors who came to play

Monday, July 21, 2014

Smoked Pork Tenderloin in my Masterbuilt Smoker

Ok, ok, ok.  I had no intention whatsoever of smoking a tenderloin!  A regular pork loin, oh sure, but not a tenderloin.  My husband brought a package (of 2) home, I think he thought it was a loin.  He said I should smoke it, I thought not.

Just as a quick back story, I own the Masterbuilt 30inch Smokehouse, 4 rack, in case anyone is keeping track.  I got it last week, this is my second foray into the world of smoking.  I may be hooked.

He left to go to work and I was searching around the fridge for stuff to smoke and there they were, the little tenderloins staring at me.  I usually brown then, rub with good french mustard then roll in Panko and roast them high.  Crispy and pink, that's how I like my tenderloins.

LOOK at what I did!!  SERIOUSLY?! 

I figured I'd give it a try anyway, i didn't want a neon pink smoke ring, that's not why I'm in this smoking thing, I'm in it for flavor and juicyness and tenderness.  I achieved all three in spades today. You want some crazy tender, juicy and lightly smoked pork tenderloins?  Cook them like this:

TRACY'S SMOKED PORK TENDERLOINS

2 pork tenderloins, dried and silver skin removed
whatever rub you want, mine was a soft but definite sprinkling of:
salt
pepper
smoked paprika
garlic powder
onion powder
ground coriander
ground cumin
a good drizzle of plain oil

QUICKIE INSTRUCTIONS
Rub seasoning on meat, smoke at 225 for 2 hours with applewood smoke and beer in the water bowl.  I checked the temp and it was 140, that's MORE than enough for pork tenderloin.  I took them out, wrapped them in foil and let them sit for about 15 minutes.  Slice. Eat.

INSTRUCTIONS, WITH PICS
Rub the tenderloins with the spices and leave them in the sink to soak them up while the smoker heats to 225, it took about 20.  Oh and the sink? It's where I season all my meats, I can clean it well before and after and there's no dishes!

I took the rack out of the smoker and put the meat on it in here, that way it's faster to just pop it in the slot and not futz with placement, just shove the rack in and close the door.  Less heat loss.
  
I had preheated to 225

See how easy, just slide the meat into the smoker and I poured a beer in the water bowl.  I soaked the applewood chips, filled the hopper and slipped it in the side and dumped it immediately
  
I set the timer for 2 1/2 hours but knew I would check at 2


AFTER 2 hours, I snuck a peek and shoved a thermometer into the meat, it was a little better than 140, my high end temp for tenderloins.  I took them out and wrapped them in foil to rest for about 15 minutes.  The smell is AWESOME.
 
The FIRST person to complain to me that there's no smoke ring is banned for life.  I wasn't looking for dusty, dry, neon pink rimmed, deeply, thickly, smoked pork.  I was looking for delicately smoked piece of meat that still has the flavor of PORK and a light rub and painfully juicy and tender meat.  That is exactly what I got, I'm thrilled. :)

I'd made my scalloped potatoes as a side and it's what Connor and I had for lunch.  I will post the potatoes recipe separately.

Here's the beauty shots. There's absolutely nothing else to say.  Nothing.
    

Smoke some pork tenderloin.  Really.  Wow.

/enjoy





Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smoking meat and BBQ; I live in Texas, I should be pretty good at it by now.


I live in Austin, Texas.  Austin has the best music, the coolest people (me included!) and the best BBQ.  I wanted to try my hand at the BBQ part.  I think the best restaurant, for BBQ, in town is La Barbecue.  I dream about that pulled pork sandwich, truly I do.  I went for their opening and have been back whenever I can sneak over there.  I picked it for my birthday meal with a friend who flew in from Canada.  It was freezing that day.  I wore a screaming hot pink feather boa with my sweatshirt.  It''s how we do winter in Austin.

    

It's not far from another famous BBQ joint, Franklins.  I've had Franklins, it's all hype and a little bit of overpriced meat.  You want REAL BBQ in Austin?  you want ambiance, quality, delicious and a real live REASON to stand in a line?  Go to La Barbecue, seriously, the (local) others are duds.  I do have some solid suggestions for out of town joints to chow down, but, that's another post.  Today, it's about me.

I've done a bunch of BBQ crawls around the area, where you get up early and pile into trucks and drive from one location to the next sampling the best BBQ they have.  Yeah, I've had my fair share of meat coma days. 

ANYway, I make a pretty good brisket, in the oven.  I make pretty good ribs, in the pressure cooker then the broiler but I haven't smoked anything and I was starting to feel like less of Texan than I could be. 

I have no problem whatsoever with the electric smoker over a standard wood smoker.  It does the same thing as a classic smoker without the drama of keeping temperature.  It's sort of like having an assistant watch the temperature without having to give them any beer.  It's the same meat, my own rub and wood smoke, I don't feel as though it's a cop out at all. 

I got a new smoker delivered yesterday, a Masterbuilt 30' Smokehouse.  I followed the directions to put it together, which took about 10 minutes.  I followed the directions do the 'preseason' which took 3 hours of which 2 1/2 minutes of that time involved me directly.

This morning I decided it was time and I was ready to face the smoker and to enter my name into the ring of pretty damned good smokers in Texas.  Yeah, I planned on being ordained after one time.  I know how good bbq and good smoked meat SHOULD taste and what the texture SHOULD be like.  I know how to cook.  How hard could this be? :D


TRACY'S SMOKED CHICKEN (and a RACK OF BABY BACK RIBS)



INGREDIENTS and QUICKIE instructions


2 chickens, about 4 lbs (they were on sale at HEB)
1 small rack of babyback ribs (also on sale, I prefer St.Louis style but that'll be next time)
salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oil
applewood smoking chips
1 Masterbuilt 30' Smokehouse Smoker


Rub meat.  Smoke meat 4 1/2 hours (weight of each chicken) at 225 with applewood chips, refill once. 

That's the short version.

This is how *I* did it.  Right or wrong?  Doesn't matter, it's my version: 


LONG WINDED DESCRIPTION OF MY METHOD (with pics!) 


I turned on the smoker, set it to 225, and went inside. 

I washed and dried the birds and ribs.  I had a cup of coffee. 

THEN, I sprinkled liberally with salt and pepper and smoked paprika.  I drizzled oil lightly over them and rubbed the seasonings in well.  I put them on a tray and took them outside.  The smoker was at temperature.  I filled the water holder with 1/2  a small beer.  I put the chickens on racks and the ribs on top.  

   
I closed the door and put wood chips, half soaked and half dry in the groovy little in the wall wood chip delivery system and went back inside.  I set my iphone timer for 2 hours.

THEY say don't peek, I had to peek
They're coming nicely.  I took the temperature of one of the chickens, it was 150something.  It occurred to me that I cook chickens in the oven for 5 hours so why was I fussing over the smoker?  I closed the door, reloaded some dry chips and went back inside the house.  I my timer for 2 1/2 hours.  

That follows the general rule I'd read about, 1 hr per lb for meat.  

At the 4 1/2 hour mark I went outside with my big tray and opened the door. AMAZING. The smell the sight AMAZING.  I didn't think they'd be THIS good.  

The ribs; perfect.  A perfect slight smoke ring, the meat tender and juicy and doesn't fall off the bone, yet melts when you pull it off with your teeth, gently.  AWESOME.  I've never made any ribs so good. 

The chicken; perfect.  Tender, juicy, smokey.  I'm shocked at how juicy it was really.  Wow. 

I highly HIGHLY recommend this product and method... Wow.

   

  


just.  wow.  

enjoy
/tracy


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apple Fritters. Quick and Easy. OH and if there's fruit in it, it's healthy and you can eat it for breakfast.

This is my recipe for  my quick, any day of the week, apple fritters.  I made them this am and am sitting here eating them.  I thought, absolutely, you'd like to make these and have them for yourself. 

Like most of my recipes, it's quick, it's easy and you will rock the fritters, plus, there's fruit so remember, they're healthy!  O_o  

TRACY'S QUICK APPLE FRITTERS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3-4 Tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
(any spice you like with your apples, cinnamon, nutmeg or nothing)
1/4 tsp dry yeast (OPTIONAL!)

1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 grated (small) apples, I use Gala which are quite small so I use two, if you have giant apples, use one

IF you want to drizzle them, then you need some icing sugar, 1/3 cup? and a dribble of milk.  OR you can just dust them with icing sugar, your call.

some fat to cook them in.  I use 1/2 clear vegetable oil and coconut oil, ya, I went there. 

Quick INSTRUCTIONS

Mix, fry, eat.  

*I got a complaint that my recipes (and blog in general) was too long winded, so I wanted to be sure there were short instructions for ya, sweetie  *hehehehe*

LONG WINDED INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES  

This is seriously a dump, fry, eat experience

IN a bowl, or 4 cup measuring cup like me, combine all the dry ingredients, flip them around with a fork.  In another bowl, mix the milk and egg (add vanilla if you're one of those!)  Combine the wet into the dry into a very thick batter
   
   
Peel and grate one or two apples, depending on their size.  Add them to the batter.
   
Mmmmm, gooey thick and droppy fritter batter.  I throw a towel over it while I get the cooking station ready.   ON the days I use yeast in the batter, I think it makes it slightly poofier if it rests.  On the days I don't use yeast (I don't always) resting makes it lighter as well...  either way, let it sit there while you get the fat ready.
  

Heat some oil, any combination that you like, in a frying pan.  I use cast iron because it keeps a nice heat.  I pour in enough oil to be about 1/2 inch deep, this is a shallow deep fry.  I drop 1/4 tsp water in the fat and turn the heat onto medium.  When the fat spits, or 'speaks' then I know it's the right temperature.  I am SURE there's better ways, like with a thermometer but I don't use them.  I also use the "put a wooden chopstick in the fat and if there's bubbles then it's hot enough" method. 

DO NOT cook these unless the fat is hot, they'll be gross.

When the fat is hot, I coat my spoon, lightly, and scoop out the batter without having any stick to the spoon, cool and chefy!

Since the batter sat and waited, I like it to rest, it may have gotten thinner, if it has, feel free to add a little more flour, this should be thick!

Drop, carefully, by spoonfuls into the fat, not too many at a time and cook till they are brown on the bottom, flip carefully and wait another moment or two till they're cooked through and brown on the bottom too.
   

Mmmm, breakfast!  You can make them bigger or smaller, have at it!
     

Transfer them to a rack with a paper towel underneath to catch any residual fat, there shouldn't be much if your fat is hot enough.  Allow to cool for a while, seriously, as much as I hate to say this, I prefer them room temperature to screaming hot out of the pan.

When they are cool (ish) make a light drizzle with confectioners sugar and a few drops of milk to make a pouring consistency.  You can pour or dunk, again your personal choice.
   

Serve them up to those you love.  I have no idea if they keep or freeze, they never last the day.

Gratuitous beauty food porn shots