Cowboy beans! Yeehaw!

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So I made some cowboy beans.

Actually, I’m not even sure what cowboy beans are, but this is what I imagine they may be. But they may not be this at all. Definitely do not tell your friends these are OG cowboy beans as that may not be fact. I would even go so far as to say there is a high chance it would not be fact. It could even be said that you pretty much just shouldn’t take any of the words on these here pages, or indeed those that pass my lips, as being fact. I’m pretty much a big fat faker. This is not gospel and I am not the lord. Onto those beans…

I feel they would be most authentic served from a big pot on the back of the chuck wagon. That is a fact.

Time for oven loving

Now it’s get into my face time


COWBOY BEANS

(For the family. Like the whole family. Like extended family, neighbours, stray kids and those carnie folk just barely clinging onto life in the cage under your back stair case… and then there will probably still be some to freeze down for later.)

500g navy beans, black beans or whatever the frick kinda dried beans you have floating about in the back of your wagon, soaked over night and then cooked until tender
500-800g whatever meat you have floating about in the back of your wagon. BBQ leftovers are the best for this – smoked brisket, pork ribs, actually any cut of pork or sausages… roast left overs… or just some nice smoky porky things from your local man
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce
1 tablespoon each American ballpark mustard and Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Big Red Rub or your favourite BBQ dry rub
½ cup tomato ketchup
3x 400g tins crushed or chopped tomatoes or something similar
Salt and pepper
Fried eggs (or crack them straight into the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes for tasty-assed one pan glory), chopped fresh herbs, jalapenos and toast to serve

Chop meat/s into bite sized chunks.
Heat a splash of oil in a large oven pan over medium heat. Add meat/s and sauté until browned a little.
Add all other ingredients and cook out for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary (that’s what your salt and pepper is for).
Place into 180-200C oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if mix starts to dry out – kinda saucy is kinda good I reckon. (You could finish these beans totally on the stovetop if you don’t feel like lighting your oven… or you just don’t actually have an oven… but they really do benefit from a little oven bubbly caramelized tomato bits. Jus’ saying)
That’s it. Serve it up – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty simple, just how the cowboys would’ve liked it. Yeehaw.

Chicken schnitzel burger and a small chat about nostalgia

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As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of nostalgia.

I especially love food memories. Actually, it’s pretty much just the food memories that I really love.

The meals that my mum and nanna would cook mostly amazed the fuck out of young me… sometimes they didn’t really amaze me heaps (that would be the viciously-boiled-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead Brussels sprouts and the “stir fried vegetables” that would be slowly-braised-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead in the electric frying pan and then have a jar of store bought gelatinous strange looking stir fry sauce added. You can imagine my surprise when I went to Singapore when I was 15 and realised what a stir fry was actually meant to be), but most of the time I truly couldn’t believe how these ladies made things taste so good.

The chicken schnitzel was one such meal.

Chicken that was expertly crumbed (breaded) and then shallow fried in mum’s big* electric frying pan and then served with whatever else mum felt like rustling up. No set recipe, just whatever mum was feeling on the day. It was a classic in our house. When I think about it though, I’m pretty sure anything that was crumbed and fried was immediately lifted to the pedestal of “classic”, and often even granted “food of the gods” status.

Tastes change fo’ sho, but sometimes my face just begs me to let it have a little of those good ol’ times… and of course if my face has been a good boy, I happily oblige. If, on the other hand, my face has been behaving like the foul mouthed little sailor’s spawn, then I shall give it a damn good beati… n… g…

Chicken schnitzel – this time it’s going on a burger (sandwich) because I really like burgers.

Electric frying pan boogaloo.

The chicken schnitzels could’ve been a little smaller I guess…

Two good times.

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL BURGER

(per person)

1x 120-150g chicken breast, hammered out a little and crumbed. Your butcher may be able to do that for you**, if not just do it yourself
1 burger bun, you may buy this from the supermarket if you like. I don’t mind a dirty white death roll for a burger. Just as long as it’s not some kinda sour dough or other artisanal crusty crap that’s going to push the entire contents of the burger out of it’s arse and onto the floor
1 handful of coleslaw, home made or heck, you can even get that from the super market too, you lazy bastard
A splash of hot sauce or BBQ sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper

—————————–

Shallow fry schnitzels in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Layer burger buns with chicken, ‘slaw and sauce.
Get that right into your face so that it may smile again ☺

* That electric frying pan always seemed really big, but I realised years later that it was just a normal sized electric frying pan.

** Please do not use those fucked up looking “chicken schnitzels” or “crumbed chicken burgers” you can find in the freezer section at the supermarket

Bangers and mash with Paddy’s Day colcannon and Guinness gravy

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That time there was leftover colcannon and Guinness gravy from St Patricks day so I decided I would put some sausages on the grill with some carrots and turnips and swedes wrapped in foil so that my family may have some kind of bangers and mash for our evening meal.

You may not have any Guinness gravy left… and you probably don’t even know what colcannon is… that’s going to be OK. We’ll make some especially for it because let’s face it, bangers and mash deserves it.

Bangers and mash is good solid comfort food. Please though, do not confuse it for a big warm sausage-y, potato-y food hug – that is something that really shouldn’t exist in writing and/or real life. Case closed.

When you need* to make bangers and mash a good start is getting onto some decent sausages. The snags in the pic were provided by one of our many neighbourhood purveyors of meaty goodness – Cromwell Farms. Also worthy of note is that the herbs that go into said snags also come from the same farm.

With that foundation of good sausage we can build upwards towards the heavens with mashed potato, gravy and some other vegetable of your choosing… although it’s nearly always peas… not today though.

Hey ho, let’s go (defo a Ramones quote).

It was raining but I didn’t even care because I had my Pro Q Excel 20 (R2smoketoo) on the verandah.

Smoky, grilly sausages.

Gravy in the pot, vegetables in the foil packs.

That spread. Effort is pretty low for a pretty high yield of tasty goodness.


BANGERS & MASH (serves 4)

8 thick sausages, grilled or pan fried or baked
salt and pepper
Colcannon, vegetables and Guinness gravy to serve

Cook the sausages and serve with the other things.

I can’t believe I’m trying to write a recipe for this.

COLCANNON (serves 4)

Sauté 2-3 cups of sliced cabbage and ½ sliced onion in butter and a splash of oil until softened and just starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir through enough mashed potato for 3 people (I know it says this is for 4 serves though… the sautéed cabbage will make up that extra serve for you… I’ve got your back on this one).

GUINNESS GRAVY

Make gravy exactly like you normally make it.

If you normally use chicken or beef stock you can replace half of that with Guinness.

If you use water and a packet gravy mix you can replace half of your water with Guinness.

Pretty easy.

* Bangers and mash is something that you can need. When you have an itch for bangers and mash, that itch can only be satisfied with bangers and mash. Fact.

Get that business in your face!

Sexy corn AKA. corn porn

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Just like any other story that may be attached to anything porn-esque, I am going to keep this one short, sharp, concise, moist, yellow, wrinkly, lubed up and to the point.

Firstly, you know about the standard – buttered corn.

The entry-level corn for those amongst us who think they don’t like corn or who have not tried it previously. It is for the corn virgin. It is the missionary position of the corn world. Sure it still tastes really damn good, but sometimes after eating the same corn for the whole of your life thus far, you need to spice it up a bit… try something a little more adventurous… invite other corn into the bedroom… what the fuck am I talking about now…

If the buttered corn is the standard, the mayonnaise-y, herby, chilli, cheesy corn is definitely the glory-hole-manning-swinger-tending-towards-sexual-deviancy. Next level. Give it a bash at least once in your life type shit…

Or not.

On to the corn!

Sexy corn looking all sexy and shit.


SEXY CORN (per person for as many people as you like)

1 cob of sweet corn
1 tablespoon mayonnaise – home made or kewpie would be good choices
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 heaped tablespoon of finely grated parmesan or pecorino
1 handful of chopped mixed herbs (coriander, parsley, oregano, chives)
A little finely sliced spring onion (scallion)
¼ lime zest, lime reserved to squeeze over corn
Salt and pepper

Grill or boil the corn for 5 minutes or until it is just cooked. This should be pretty easy for you by now.
Squeeze over or roll corn through mayonnaise, douse with hot sauce and lime, and then layer with all of the other goodies.
Eat it.
Change your knickers.

Tasty assed grilled chicken with gochujang and smoked honey

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grilled chicken recipe
This was another one of those happen-to-have-a-really-good-looking-chook-on-hand-and-I’m-pretty-keen-to-put-something-on-the-bbq type situations. You know those ones, right?

I also had in my possession a bottle of gochujang – the fermented chilli (red pepper) paste of Korean origins that I had been hearing so much about lately cos I am a fricking ear-to-the-ground kinda guy.

Also in my possession was a flagon of rum. But both you and I know that was going to be used to get those carnies dancing as the evening went on…

Back to that really damn good chicken.

The chicken was bathed in a very simple marinade, containing, if my time learning mathematics at school serves me correctly, no more than 5 or possibly 6 ingredients. You know what that means? Less prep time. You know what that means? Less time in the kitchen. You know what that means? More time enjoying a refreshing beverages and watching those drunken carnies dance… oh, how I love to watch them dance…

I ate chicken… I was left smiling – a big red sticky mess… and this time it couldn’t all be blamed on the beard…

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

Just grillin' some really tasty chicken... really tasty chicken

Just grillin’ some really tasty chicken… really tasty chicken


REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GOCHUJANG & SMOKED HONEY MARINADE

(Serves however many people you serve with a roast chicken. You could also sub in 2kg of chicken wings for a quicker result and a really fucking tasty little snack during a long night of watching the drunken carnie dancing or even a game of actual sport if that’s what you’re into)

1 whole chook, butterflied or cut into 4. I’m pretty sure your butcher will do that for you
½ cup gochujang
½ cup butter, softened (a little sun shine or 10 seconds in the microwave should look after that for you)
2 tablespoons smoked honey* (straight up honey will also do a very good job here)
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced shallots (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds to serve
Napkins. You defo need napkins for this stuff

• Mix gochujang, butter, honey and salt. Pour the mix over the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or so.
• Whack it on the grill over some gentle coals for approximately one hour, depending on how well you tend your BBQ. Check and turn and baste with the extra saucy goodness every 15 minutes.
• (45minutes in a 180-200C oven will also do the job of cooking your chook)
• Once cooked allow to rest for 10 minutes.
• Serve with extra gochujang if you love that, shallots and sesame seeds

*I found some nice peeps who make smoked honey called Blend Smoked Honey. You can find them right here. It’s well worth a hit. PS I certainly do not get paid for my under-thought opinions… although with this sort of entertainment value I probably should ay… I gotta work on that.

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish

It Was Going To Be Karaage Chicken But Ended Up Being Fried Chicken With Big Red Rub

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SAMSUNG CSC
This was one of those meals that morphed a little mid prep. It didn’t do a Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde, or an angered Bruce Banner changing into that big green Gold Coast gym junkie, but it did indeed change it’s original guise, albeit ever so slightly.

This day I declared mid shift that I had a hankering for some fried chicken and when it came time to prepare the family meal for the evening, fried chicken would indeed be what I would concoct and in turn consume. I cut chicken thigh like the schoolyard taunts would cut the squeamish kid with pale skin, glasses and allergies… I pulled the potato flour from it’s home on “the flour shelf”… I got that chicken marinating in soy sauce and then I set about chopping some ginger and garlic to join it, and then I stopped. I reversed that old pick-up truck back to the fork in the road, crunched the gear box back into first and then headed down the other track, towards the old Wilson farm. Mr Wilson was in the back paddock with his collection of blue ribbon winning root vegetables when I pulled up. For an older gentleman he was surprisingly nimble… I wanted to look away but instead I looked further… it was a vision that will haunt me for ever, a sight that cannot be unseen… dear good lord.

This is where I stopped making karaage chicken and apparently my story stopped making sense.

I cracked an egg into the soy coated chicken to really give the flour something to stick to, I mixed some patented Big Red Rub in with the potato flour, dusted the hell out of the chicken pieces and then fried them up.

Real good, proper good.

The chicken was consumed with the finest crinkle cut potato chips from the freezer section of the local used-to-be-food-market, a what-we-had-in-the-fridge-salad, home made mayonnaise and hot sauce.

The kids were really, really happy with this and it was cheap and relatively easy to make (even for a person of your skill set…) so I guess you should just go and make it… do it for the kids.

#easytastygoodmidweekdinnersforthekids

I’m here to help ☺

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To this... Yeah, really creative with the captions eh

To this… Yeah, really creative with the captions eh

REALLY GOOD FRIED CHICKEN (serves 4)

1-1.2kg chicken thigh fillets, cut into nugget sized pieces
A splash of soy
2 eggs
1.5 cups potato flour (starch)
1/3 cup Big Red Rub, or another Southern/Cajun/Creole/KFC type spice mix of your liking
Oil for deep frying
Seasoning
Home made mayo, hot sauce, fridge salad and chips, or the late edition of burger stuff, to serve

• Get your self a tasty alcoholic beverage of your choosing and relax into this one, you seriously have plenty of time
• Make some mayonnaise, get some oven chips going and make a little salad
• Combine potato flour and spice mix in a bowl big enough to fit the chicken
• Heat oil in your deep fryer or in a pot over med-high heat on the stovetop. If you’re going to do the stovetop method for the love of god keep an eye on it… I don’t want you burning down your house or tent or cardboard box and adjoining dumpster or whatever the hell it is you live in… I couldn’t handle the disappointment of having that blamed on me
• Whisk eggs, soy and a splash of water together in another bowl big enough to fit the chicken
• Get the chicken into the eggwash and then one piece at a time coat it in the seasoned flour
• Once all the chicken is coated divide it into two batches. Fry each batch for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned, and then set aside to drain on a rack or absorbent paper
• Fry chicken for a second time until golden brown and fully cooked through – probs another 2-3 minutes. Drain on a rack or absorbent paper, season and serve with the chips that should be ready by now and the other stuff
• I made this fried chicken again before I had the chance to post this and put it in between the buns like a business man in a Thai brothel. This chicken is REALLY good in a burger. I don’t use caps lock very often so you gotta know I’m serious. Try it… you know you want to…

Cheeky fried chicken for the second time in a week

Cheeky fried chicken for the second time in a week

...and the burger that I made with it. Nom nom nom

…and the burger that I made with it. Nom nom nom