Smoked Chicken Quarters on the Pellet Grill
Smoked Chicken Quarters on the Pellet Grill - Felt good to get back to smokin some yardbird parts!! After hitting my MAK 2 Star hard for a year and a half the igniter decided to bite the dust (GFI kept popping when I turned the MAK on). As always, Katrina at MAK took great care of me and immediately sent out a new igniter. The best part, it was free cause my MAK was still covered by the 2 year warranty. Love MAK's customer service ... doesn't get any better than that!!!!
Nothing fancy but the results were outstanding. Rubbed under/on the skin with roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with a light sprinkling of Fagundes Seasoning and McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning. Wrapped in plastic and fridged for 4 hours.
Hickory smoked the chicken quarters for 1 hour at 180ºF before bumping the pit temp to 375ºF. Finished the cook at 375ºF until the internal temperature reached 180ºF. Rested the quarters under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.
Served with some fried cabbage, mushrooms, and red onions, a side of green salad, and half an avocado.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Boiled
Corned Beef and Cabbage Boiled - I'm one of those that doesn't think you should only cook a turkey during the holidays. So why would I only have Corned Beef on St. Patrick's Day? This time of year you can pick up reasonably priced Corned Beef. I take this opportunity to freeze a few for great munching during the rest of the year. Last night was no exception, the Corned Beef and cabbage was delectable!!!
Started with a Premium SHENSON Corned Beef Round that I picked up at Costco. It was 3.6 lbs and was $3.49/lb. Not a bad deal these days. I've been seeing Snake River Farms American Kobe Corned Beef at around $7 to $8 a pound but when you're on a limited budget I'm here to say that the SHENSON Corned Beef is perfectly fine. I prefer the Round cause it slices so nicely without crumbling.
The nice thing about Corned Beef is that it's almost impossible to ruin one. You get your largest pot, fill it with a ton of water and simmer the Corned Beef for about 3+ hours. Roughly an hour per pound. I normally briefly rinse the Corned Beef and throw away the seasoning pack. The reason for tossing the seasoning pack is that the seeds always get stuck inside the cabbage wedges and I have to pick them out.
Bring the Corned Beef to a boil and turn it down to a medium-hard simmer. I like to take my Corned Beef to an internal temperature of at least 205ºF. Just like a Brisket. Since it's made from the Brisket then I figure that makes sense. Take the boiled Corned Beef out and cover it with foil. Cut the cabbage(s) into quarters and boil for about 30 minutes in the same water that you used for the Corned Beef. I often also toss in carrots, celery, and small white onions. The red potatoes I like to steam. I can't remember the last time I boiled potatoes.
The beauty of searching the web for recipes is that you'll find zillions that might meet your life style, diet and tastes. My search for a low carb pulled chicken broccoli casserole yielded this recipe from the 'Joy Filled Eats' website. Since I did not create this recipe, I like to give credit where credit is due. I tweaked the recipe a skosh and the results were scrumptious!
Part of the recipe title had the following initials "THM S". What the heck is THM S you ask? I learned it stands for 'Trim Healthy Mama' and the 'S' is for Satisfying - Low in Carbs - Protein & Fats. Until now I'd never heard of The Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle but it claims to be a sound, effective and delicious way to eat for health and weight loss. Either way, this was an easy and wonderful tasting recipe.
Now it's no secret that I'm far from being a 'Trim Healthy Mama' but if I continue to eat these kinds of delicious low carb meals I should become more healthy and with some added exercise someday I could be more trim ... Course watching my portion sizes really needs to be a top priority.
Ingredients: half a pulled Costco rotisserie chicken, 1 lb fresh broccoli steamed to Al Dente, ⅓ lb of crumbled cooked bacon, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tbsp parsley, ½ tsp seasoned salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 8 oz package of cream cheese - softened, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup mayo, and 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine cream cheese/sour cream/mayo/spices in a large bowl. Fold in the chicken, broccoli, half the crumbled bacon and 2 cups shredded cheese. Place mixture into a greased 9x13" baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake until hot and bubbly for about 35 to 45 minutes.
As I started researching low carb pizzas I kept running into something called a "Meatza". Turns out it's been a standard low carb recipe since around 1999 which uses a meat crust instead of a dough crust. Yeah, that's what I said ... meat crust? Fast forward to last night's dinner and man O man was it ever a success all around. The Money $Shot above speaks for itself!! Looks like a pizza, cuts like a pizza, and tastes like a pizza - don't forget your fork. One, maybe two Meatza slices with a side of salad will more than satisfy any hearty appetite. Just like pizza, variations of Meatza recipes are endless - limited only by your imagination and taste buds ... Best of all, just like pizza it's great hot or cold and keeps well in the refrigerator.
The first big lesson I learned is that you need to use lean ground beef to prevent shrinkage. This time I baked the meat crust in a preheated 400ºF oven but next time I will be making the Meatza Pie in my MAK 2 Star. Baked the crust for 15 -20 minutes (depending on thickness) until the crust reached an internal temperature of 160ºF. Removed and drained the grease/fat. Used a paper towel to dab away grease/fat from the top of the meat crust.
- 1 lb lean ground beef (something I didn't use this time)
- ¼ cup minced red onions
- ¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs or any low carb alternative
- 1 egg
- Garlic salt, seasoned salt, granulated garlic & black pepper to taste
Toppings: This is what I used but change anything to meet your preferences
- 2+ cups of mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup of pizza sauce - more or less
- Sliced mushrooms, sliced red onion, black olives, sliced deli pepperoni & shredded Parmesan cheese
Topped the meat crust with a layer of mozzarella, pizza sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, red onion, pepperoni, and olives. Placed Meatza pie back in the 400ºF oven and baked for an additional 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you're watching your carbs then you might want to look at spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta. A cup of cooked spaghetti squash strands has 10g of carbs whereas a cup of cooked spaghetti has 40g. Does it really taste like spaghetti? NO ... But its texture makes it tasty enough to pair with your favorite spaghetti sauce, beef stroganoff, and a zillion other items.
I've baked/roasted spaghetti squash in my MAK 2 Star and/or oven many times and it always comes out fine. This method, however, takes 40-60 minutes. It can also be cooked in the microwave.
But in your Instant Pot (IP), or any pressure cooker, it only takes 7 minutes. A spaghetti squash fits just fine in the IP. Cut the squash in half lengthwise from stem to tail and scrape out the seeds. You might want to drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and place the squash on the steaming rack. Make sure that the steam release hand is set to sealing (not venting). Press Manual and navigate to 7 minutes. When the IP beeps the squash is done. Carefully use the Quick Release method to release the pressure. Scrape out the strands (noodles) and serve.