Scalloped Potatoes with SPAM

posted in: Recipes | 0
SPAM scalloped potatoes
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with SPAM Casserole served with a side of steamed fresh tender French Green Beans

SPAM has such a love/hate relationship with many people.  I have always fallen into the love camp when it comes to SPAM and comfort food.  What better way to satisfy both than combining them into a simple but scrumptious Scalloped Potato Au Gratin Casserole with cubed SPAM. I would have liked to have used Ham and/or leftover Ham for this recipe but I refuse to pay the high cost of Ham right now especially when SPAM is still competitively priced.

The Scalloped Potato Recipe I like to use is a time tested recipe from our well used Betty Crocker's Cookbook we received as a wedding present back in 1972.  Yup, a mere 42 years ago!

scalloped potatoes spam ingredients
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with SPAM Ingredients

 

Ingredients:

  • Diced SPAM
  • Red Potatoes
  • Red Onion - Medium
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Seasoned & Garlic Salf
  • Black Pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar, Monterey, & Parmesan Cheese
  • Milk
  • Italian style Panko Crispy Bread crumbs

Directions:

  • In a greased casserole dish layer evenly sliced potatoes & red onions
  • Sprinkle flour and season with garlic, seasoned/garlic salt, black pepper, & pats of butter
  • Layer of diced SPAM and shredded cheese
  • Repeat layers
  • Cover layers (just above the flour) with milk
  • Top casserole with pats of butter, thin layer of panko bread crumbs, & Parmesan cheese
  • Bake in 375ºF oven for 1½ hours till potatoes are done
scalloped potatoes with spam
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with SPAM Directions
scalloped potatoes with spam
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with SPAM Casserole
scalloped potatoes with spam casserole
Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin with SPAM Casserole

Cover the Scalloped Potatoes au gratin with SPAM Casserole tightly with foil and bake at 375ºF for approximately 1½ hours until the potatoes are fork tender.  Allow the casserole to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.  Serve with steamed fresh tender French Green Beans ... Bon Appétit

Penne with Organic Sauce

posted in: Recipes, Sauces, Rubs | 0
penne organic sauce
Penne pasta with Organic Sauce

Not particularly a gong-ho advocate of organic goods, vegetables, fruits, etc but in recent years Costco has embraced organic whole hardily.  I don't find anything wrong  with organic except the higher cost at the register.  With today's rising prices on everything I usually defer to the non-organic goods but buying bulk at Costco allows me to purchase organic products at the same price or lower than non-organic at my local grocery store.

There's a lot to be said for quick and simple meals and this spaghetti sauce and meatballs over Penne pasta was easy to put together.  Aidells fully cooked Teriyaki & Pineapple fully cooked meatballs add a great twist to this simple recipe.

organic spaghetti sauce
Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
organic spaghetti sauce
Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Combine all spaghetti sauce ingredients in a large pot:  Marinara Sauce, Organic Stewed Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Paste, and Organic Mushrooms (include liquid).  Tweak the sauce with Crushed Garlic, Italian Seasoning, and Teriyaki Pineapple meatballs.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.  Meanwhile prepare Penne Pasta as per directions on the box.

Serve with a side of salad with your favorite trimmings and garlic bread.  I've always enjoyed the garlic bread from my local grocery but I wanted to use demi baguettes I had on hand.  Found that I could buy my grocery store's garlic spread so rather than mix my own I used theirs and added shredded Parmesan Cheese to it.  Like I said ... easy-peasy!! ... Enjoy

Tuscan Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

posted in: Chicken | 0

 

tuscan chicken and spaghetti squash
Baked Tuscan Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

You never know what you'll find at Costco but you best take advantage of it when you do.  Found a package of 2 Spaghetti Squash at my local Costco for $2.49 per squash.  That's a great price!!  Grocery stores sell them for ~$2.50 per pound.  Properly stored, Spaghetti Squash have a long shelf life of months.  Spaghetti Squash makes for a great change of pace as a side, healthy, and extremely easy to prepare. 

seasoned chicken thighs
Tuscan seasoned Chicken Thighs
spaghetti squash
Seasoned Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Thigh Prep
Chicken Thighs are my favorite part of the chicken and Foster Farms fresh thighs at Costco are always reasonably priced.  3-4 per sealed packs are great for the 2 of us.   I like to trim the fat and excess skin before rubbing Extra Virgin Olive Oil ON/Under the skin and the seasoning/rub of my choice.  Gluten Free Tuscan Style Seasoning has proven to be a wonderful seasoning.  Wrap the chicken thighs in plastic and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Spaghetti Squash Prep
Prepping the Spaghetti Squash is exceptionally easy to do.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise & scrape out the seeds.  Brush the flesh with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with Salt/Pepper or I prefer using Fagundes Seasoning.

chicken thighs and spaghetti squash
Chicken and Squash
chicken thighs and spaghetti squash
Roasted Thigh and Squash
baked spaghetti squash
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
baked tuscan chicken thighs
Roasted Chicken Thighs

Preheat your oven or grill to 375ºF and place the Spaghetti Squash, cut side up, on a foil covered baking sheet.  Roast the squash for 30 minutes before adding the Chicken Thighs and cook for an additional hour.  Check the Internal Temperate of the chicken to ensure it has reached 180ºF+.  The Spaghetti Squash should be fork tender.

Remove the chicken and squash from the oven and allow them to rest under a loose foil tent for 15-20 minutes.  Scrape the Spaghetti Squash flesh with a fork to make long strands.  Serve the chicken and squash with a side of steamed fresh tender French Beans and top the beans and squash with a dab of butter.

 

Foiled Boneless Pork Butt

posted in: Pork | 0
foiled Pork Butt
Foiled Apple smoked Pork Butt

Should you be thinking about foiling your boneless Pork Butt or sticking with the time honored Low-and-Slow method of smoking your Pork Butts for 14-20 hours plus the inclusion of 3-4 hours FTC?  Having used both methods over the years I believe you should seriously consider foiling your Pork Butt(s) which incorporate the best of both worlds.  Foiling your Pork Butt provides that scrumptious bark we all enjoy and the stunning smoke ring we wear like a badge of honor!  I know that the smoke ring does not influence the taste of your pulled Pork but it really highlights the Apple smoked Pulled Pork Butt.

rubbed pork butt
Rubbed boneless Pork Butt
pork butt
Rubbed Pork Butt
Smoke Pork Butt
Pellet grill smoked Pork Butt

When you foil your boneless pork butt it does not infer that you foil the butt from the beginning of the cook.  This method is primarily used to accelerate the cooking process through the "stall" which will happen and normally take four or more hours.

Trim the fat cap and any excess fat prior to rubbing the butt with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & a nice pork rub like Plowboy's Bovine Bold.  Wrap the butt in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat your smoker-grill to 225ºF using Pacific Pellet BBQ Apple pellets.  Apple smoke the boneless pork butt for 3 hours.  This stage not only infuses the pork butt with Apple smoke but also begins the bark and smoke ring formation.

smoked pork butt
Pork Butt Apple smoked for 3 hours
pellet grill pork butt
Pork Butt at 160ºF
foiled pork butt
foiled boneless Pork Butt

After a 3 hour Apple wood smoke on the MAK 2 Star smoker-grill at 225ºF I increased the pit temperature to 325ºF until the Internal Temperature reached 160ºF which is right in the middle of a normal stall were I to be using the Low-and-Slow method of smoking at 225ºF.  At this stage I double wrapped the apple smoked boneless pork butt in heavy duty foil and returned it to the pit until the Internal Temperature of the pork butt reached 205ºF.

Foil, Towel, Cooler (FTC) is crucial to putting the finishing touches on your smoked pork butt.  Since the butt is already double wrapped in foil proceed to the Towel stage.  Wrap the foiled boneless pork butt in a towel and place in a regular cooler for a minimum of 3 hours before pulling.

pulled Pork Butt
Apple smoked pulled Pork Butt

Pellet Grill Hickory Smoked Meatloaf

posted in: Beef, Pork | 0
smoked meatloaf
Hickory smoked Meatloaf

I won't pretend to claim that my Meatloaf recipe will set the world on fire but I can guarantee that hickory smoking said Meatloaf on a pellet grill will outshine any Meatloaf baked in the oven.  Many recipes call for using ketchup or tomato soup but I find that tomato sauce add that's extra element when used in the mix and for a topping.

Meatloaf Ingredients
Pellet Grill Meatloaf Ingredients

Use your Mama's Meatloaf recipe or one of a zillion from the net ... It's all good.  I prefer to mix 88/12% Hamburger from Costco with Pork Sausage, eggs, and a variety of spices formed into two pound loaves.

Hickory smoked meatloaf
Smoked Meatloaf

Preheated and then smoked the Meatloaves for an hour in the MAK 2 Star wood pellet BBQ smoker-grill using Pacific Pellet Gourmet BBQ Hickory wood pellets.  I always use a Frog Mat to prevent the meat from sticking to the grills.

smoked Meatloaf
Tomato sauced smoked Meatloaf

Finish the smoked Meatloaves at 375ºF until the Internal Temperature of the loaves reach greater than 160ºF.  Top the Meatloaves with remaining tomato sauce when they reach ~150ºF.

Smoked Meatloaf dinner
The $Money$ Shot ... Comfort food

There are a lot of pros and cons concerning resting meat under a loose foil tent before serving.  I'll leave those discussions to others - as for me, I choose to rest meat/poultry/etc prior to serving.  I rested the loaves for 15 minutes.

Make no mistake about it.  Making mashed potatoes, gravy from scratch and steaming fresh green beans are by far the best but sometimes when cooking for 2 it's a lot easier to use instant taters, gravy mix, and a can of organic green beans.  The star today is the pellet grill hickory smoked Meatloaf entrée and not the sides.

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