I’m a Pickin’ & She’s a Grinnin’

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

I LOVE Dungeness Crab!!!  Volunteered at our Annual American Legion Post 190 Crab Feast last night.  With the help of all the veterans, their spouses, and some of the Ripon High School ROTC squad we managed to put on another successful Crab Feast.  Our Post has been putting on Dungeness Crab Feeds since 1946.  We served over 450 guests.

I always buy some of the crab to take home which I meticulously pick.  The crab is cooked, cleaned, and cracked at the processing facility in Santa Rosa, CA.  It’s a labor of love … and SWMBO loves Dungeness crab as much as I do but she don’t like to pick it.

Here I am doing some pickin while watching the Daytona 500.

I bought 10 lbs.  You can see 4 lbs worth of pickin in the bowl while I work on one of the remaining three 2 lb bags.  Lots of bodies and claws.

In our future I see lots of Crab Cakes, Crab Louis Salads, Crab Dips … the list is endless  Grin Grin Course, there’s just plain grazing with some homemade cocktail sauce!!!!!

Fagundes Famous Seasoning Mix and BBQ Sauces

posted in: Sauces, Rubs | 2

Fagundes Meats & Catering was started in 1978 by two Portuguese Brothers Gill and Americo Fagundes.  It is presently owned by Butcher Frank Teixeira, the Grandson of Americo.  Americo Fagundes first blended the now famous Fagundes Seasoning when he chose to cater his daughter’s wedding in 1980 where he served New York Steaks to 900 guests.  Before the night was over, Americo was overwhelmed with requests for the seasoning and recipe.


Unwilling to divulge the seasoning recipe Fagundes Meats for years chose to season meats and poultry to customers for FREE.  Frank the Butcher (pictured above)  lovingly recalls that 90% of customers would come into the Meat Market for the great meats and poultry and have them seasoned.  To this date, they will still season it for you if you ask.

In 1990 Frank decided to develop Fagundes Famous Seasoning for commercial outlets after years of in-house sales of bags and shipping the seasoning to customers who left the area.  Today the seasoning can be found in numerous Grocery Outlets in Northern California.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Fagundes Seasoning does not overpower the natural flavors of meats and poultry.  The seasoning  interactions with Beef,  Chicken, Fish, Pork, Turkey, Salads, Eggs, etc. is uncanny.  Originally the seasoning was only used on Beef but it quickly became apparent that it is an amazing all purpose seasoning.  The WOW factor is at the top of the charts!!  Knowing first hand the combination of spices and flavors, I continue to be impressed.  Fagundes Seasoning lends itself to Low-and-Slow cooking and smoking, Grilling, Roasting, Frying, etc.  If you want to kick it up a notch … no problem – just add garlic, peppers, and anything else you prefer to use and you’ll find it will not overshadow the results.

Here’s a Fagundes Meats secret for a great and easy marinate to use with any type of Meat and Poultry:

“The Nector of the gods” … Yes, it’s Hamm’s Beer!!
For some fantastic results, try using 1 can of Hamm’s Beer with some Fagundes Famous Seasoning and marinade for 2 hours but for best results, keep it overnight in the fridge.  If you have a tumbler you’ll be amazed at the results.  Trust me … other beers have been tried but you need to use Hamm’s!!

Since I have never been much for BBQ Sauces I will reserve my review of the Fagundes Famous BBQ Sauces for another day.  But if they are anything like their seasoning I’ll bet you they’re great.

I guarantee that if you remove your Salt and Pepper from your spice cabinet and replace it with Fagundes Seasoning you’ll not miss the Salt and Pepper or any other spices.

1st Breakfast Sausage Attempt … Lessons Learned

posted in: Sausages | 0

Well, I learned I’m not the little sausage maker … YET Grin Cry Been putting it off for so long.  Just like anything else, you fear the unknown!  So I finally got the Grinder and Stuffer out of their boxes.

Decided to make my sausage debut with some Sausage Maker Breakfast Sausage Seasoning and 12 lbs of Pork Butt.  Here is my setup – ready for action.

Trimmed the Pork Butt into strips, popped them into the freezer for a while and had no problems grinding things up.

The infamous taste test.  Found the sausage to be very lean compared to store bought sausage like Jimmy Dean.  There was no fat to be found in the pan.  I actually had to add a touch of EVOO to prevent the sample from burning.  Is this normal or should I plan on adding more fat?  It was scrumptious flavor wise Grin I’ve read so many people say they would never go back to store bought and now I know why.  Yummmmm … great stuff!!

Made 5 lbs of patties

Reserved the rest for my 1st stuffing endeavor.  Loaded and ready.

I quickly learned that I bought the wrong Sausage Collagen Casings.  I bought 38 mm Smoked Casings.  Stopped when I realized these Breakfast Sausages were going to be bigger than Kielbasas Undecided Got a short feel for the stuffer but stopped before I made too many of these honkers!!  Played with them a little, twisting, tying, etc before I unloaded the casing and stuffer back into the bowl.  Since my local butcher, Fagundes Meats, carries natural casings I’m going to get the casings from him and follow their advice.  I couldn’t even twirl these babies.  It was almost like this casing wasn’t suppose to do that.

Made patties out of this batch also and vacuumed sealed them for storage.

Retreated into the shadows licking my wounds and beginning to plan for my next batch.  Going to make sure that I have the proper casings cause now that the ice has been broken … the sky’s the limit Grin Grin Summer Sausage, Kielbasas, Brats, etc.

Pulled Pork & Sauerkraut Latvian Style

posted in: Pork, Recipes | 0

This recipe was handed down to me by my Mother who brought it here from the old Country, Latvia.  Been making this for near on 40 years now.  I know that many people do not like Sauerkraut but that’s cause they have only had it right out of a jar and have never had it ‘Latvian’ style.  I will pretty much guarantee that people will rave over this.

Here are the fixings …

  • 4 lb Pork Butt or larger
  • 2 32oz jars of sauerkraut
  • Large head of cabbage
  • Whole head of celery
  • Large onion
  • Lots of chopped or fresh garlic … to taste
  • Lawry’s Garlic Salt
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper
  • 16 cups of water
  • Knorr Chicken Bouillon – 1 Tbsp per cup of water (not shown)

The key to this recipe is to drain the sauerkraut in a colander and then rinse it vigorously prior to placing the rinsed sauerkraut in a large pot.  Did I mention to rinse the sauerkraut Grin Then add a chopped onion, entire celery head chopped (including the best part – the center leaves), head of cabbage shredded, add some chopped carrots for color if desired, 16 cups of water and spices.  Throw in the Pork Butt cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a medium simmer.

Simmer for 4 to 5 hours.  After a couple of hours, taste the liquid and add bouillon and spices as required.  This is not an exact science.  You can’t ruin this batch of sauerkraut unless you add too much salt.  Course remember that bouillon is high in salt.  Here’s a peek after a couple of hours.  You’re better off cooking it longer than shorter.

In 4 to 5 hours the Pork will be done to perfection and will shred away like smoked pulled pork.

The money $$hot.  Heaping portion of sauerkraut with the Pulled Pork Butt.  Boiled or steamed potatoes go great with this meal.  I normally have taters but I’m cutting back on the carbs.

Faux Rice and SRG Bone-in Turkey Breast

posted in: Turkey | 0

In staying with our low carb lifestyle, I decided to pop a bone-in turkey breast in the SRG and serve it with some Faux Rice and Cole Slaw.  Rubbed the breast with some EVOO and Fagundes Seasoning and mounted the breast on a vertical turkey roaster.  Although I defrosted the breast in the fridge for 4 days it still had some ice chunks in the cavity.  When I inserted the meat probe it read “LLL” on my ET-732 (means it was below 32º).

Not sure why but the basket had issues when I lowered it into the SRG.  It was almost like the basket got bigger or the cooking chamber shrunk … Course I know neither one is true Undecided it’s just that the basket legs were scraping the sides when I lower it.  Here’s the breast after 2 hours.  SRG was on HIGH and the LID was OPEN.

Pulled the breast after the IT reached 167º.  Took 2 hours.  Covered with foil and allowed it to rest for 20 minutes.

The money $$hot.  Few slices of turkey breast served with a side of Faux Rice and Cole Slaw.  This was the 1st time I roasted a turkey breast completely in the SRG.  Have always smoked it in the Bradley Smoker for 2 hours and then finished the breast in the SRG.  SWMBO and I were extremely pleased with the moisture and flavor.  Like everyone says … it’s a poultry cooking machine Grin

OK, many are probably wondering what “Faux Rice” is.  I’ll save you a Google search.  Here is one of many recipes for it.


20 ounces fresh cauliflower, 1 medium
Salt and pepper

Trim the leaves and most of the tough stalks of the cauliflower, then coarsely chop into manageable pieces that will fit the feed tube of your food processor. Using the grating disk, process the cauliflower; put in a 2 1/2 quart casserole with a lid. Add 2-4 tablespoons of water, cover and microwave on HIGH 8-14 minutes. Stir every 4-5 minutes and check for doneness. When tender, but not mushy, add some butter; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6-10 servings
Freezing not recommended

Per 1/6 recipe: 58 Calories; 4g Fat; 2g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3g Net Carbs

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