Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Porx Noodles

In hindsight this is the best Noodle Bowl I haz evar made...

I've got the Porx from the other night, Nomlishous on its own.  I made a couple cups of Wide Egg Noodles.  Then there are my regular staples like Scallions, and chopped Cilantro.  I'm using Brussels Sprouts for the veggie element.  Then there is sauce, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Sambal (Chile Paste), Butter, Olive Oil, and Porx Fat.  The elements of the sauce perfected this in a way that I did not expect.
I brought all of the ingredients together hot, so I didn't feel the need to assemble this in a stir fry pan, on the heat.  I probably prefer the food to be at room temperature, rather than ripping hot, so I wasn't concerned about cooking the final assembly.  Everything that needs to be cooked is, and the few raw parts are cooked by the mixture quickly before you eat it.
The fusion of the Porx, Garlic, and Sambal (Chile Paste) set this Noodle Bowl apart from all the others that I have made.  The Sambal is spicy yet not over powering, while the Garlic is a mellow background flavor.  Its not over salted, and the Scallions give it an intermittent sharpness that distracts you from the sweet and spicy Porkyness momentarily.  Probably the one thing that knocks this one over the top is the Porx.  Getting my smoking process under control is probably the crux of the Nomlishousness of this Noodle Bowl.  Iz been mesmerized by Porx...

More Smoker Mods

I am working on the Smoker again.  Need to get the temperature down so I can do slow smoking.  There are wide clearances and plenty of holes in the main box, so I needed to try and fill them first.  I am using spare hardware to fill round holes.
 I am doing this to help control the air that can flow into the main box to oxidize the fire.  We limit the airflow to the fire to regulate the temperature.  The holes are only part of the problem.  There are still large linear openings around the periphery of the lid that I have to deal with.
There was a very large hole (3/4 inch) at the bottom of the main box which is supposed to be a fat drain.  well' that system never worked very good, and rusted out anyway.  So, I plugged that hole with some 1/2 inch hardware and flat washers.  In the last test I was only able to bring the temperature down to 335 degrees Fahrenheit.  When I plugged all the air holes I was able to bring the temperature down to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is a significant difference, and you can see it in the result.
This is a seven pound Porx Butt that I had in the main box for about 6 hours.  It is very smoky, but still under done.  You can tell by the texture of the meat, as it is still firm.  I still have some more tuning to do on the smoker.  I let the Porx braise in a slow oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit) for another 10 hours and it was just about perfect.  There needs to be really slow and consistent heat to do Porx Butts.  It needs to be like a slow cooker, like a Crockpot, but with the Hickory Fire which makes it Nomlishous...
So, after all that work I wasn't really looking to do anything fancy.  Here is some Porx and Beans, with Barbeque Sauce.  Oh, yeah, there is some Habanero Sauce on the side there.  Simple, Hot, Nomlishous...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chili Chilaquiles

You know Migas?  A Tex-Mex sort of breakfast thing.  Well, those are Chilaquiles.  Huh Wut?  Alright, uh think of them as Nachos in sauce, sort of.  The center of the Chilaquiles is the Tortilla Chip.  Lucky for me I was out of Tortilla Chips when I went to make Chilaquiles, so I had to make my own.  I took some Corn Tortillas and cut them into strips.  Then I fried the strips in hot oil until they are crispy.
You gotta salt those right as they come out of the oil.  Something else that is essential for Chilaquiles is Jalapenos.  Any place you go to order Migas will have Jalapenos in them.  So that is where we start with the Chilaquiles.  We'll fry some Jalapeno slices in a small amount of oil over medium heat.
This cooks the Jalapenos, but also infuses the oil with the Chile essence, very important.  Next we'll add some of those fresh Tortilla strips.  The Tortilla will soak up the next ingredients.
Next I'll beat a couple Eggs, and pour them into the pan.
  Mix them in there well to coat the Tortilla strips and Jalapenos with Egg, and let them cook until just about done.  At this point this is Migas, or traditional Chilaquiles, and serve with some warm Tortillas, and Salsa.
This is where the Chili part goes in, making them Chili Chilaquiles.  Add in about a half a
cup of Texas Chili, I used Carroll Shelby's mix here, but any good Texas Red will do.
Now we're gonna mix the Chili in.
I'll add some more of the fresh Tortilla strips with the Chili Chilaquiles.
Add a little shredded cheddar on top, and eat it with chopstix...
Now that is a hearty breakfast...

Chicken Noodles

Chicken and Noodles come together in many forms.  I was looking for something to do with leftover Chicken, and Noodles came to mind.  I cooked some wide egg Noodles, chopped the Chicken, and throw in some Scallions and Cilantro.
I had read a recipe for Parsleyed Noodles in a French Cookbook, and this kind of started there.  But instead of Parley, I went with Cilantro and Scallions.  I added a little melted Butter, and Olive Oil, and dump all the parts into a bowl to mix.
Then I'll add some Garlic powder, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt for seasoning.  It turned out really good for something that was so simple to make.  Need to try some Asian Variations.

Junkyard Ingenuity

Weather, and heat are the bane of the barbeque's existence.  Yes, I am whining....

The Air Valve Plate on my barbeque rusted out, and became unusable.  The barbeque is broke, can't make Porx...  Red Alert!  Gotta get this fixed, but I don't want to spend any money doing it.  Well I do have some scrap sheet metal, and plenty of screws.  So I scratched a pattern on the sheet metal and cut it out with a tin snips.
The Air Valve Plate is also part of the structure between the main box, and the fire box on the side.  So I needed to support the fire box while I replaced the Air Valve Plate.  The bolts that hold the main box, and the fire box together are tempered to the point that bolts are fused to the nuts.  This is because the fire is always right next to the Air Valve Plate, whether it is in the main box or in the fire box.
So, here we are using a rusty old piece of metal to fix another rusty old piece of metal.  There are 6 bolts that attach the main box to the fire box, and also hold the Air Valve Plate.  The Air Valve Plate regulates air flow into the barbeque so that you can control the temperature.  With the old rusted out Air Valve Plate the temperature in the main box would swing up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, not good for smoking Porx.
Looking at the plate from the fire box side you can see the pivot hole for the damper, and the air feed holes.  Then I added an adjustable damper plate to be able to adjust the air flow into the main box.
This works better, and I am able to regulate the temperature down to about 335 degrees Fahrenheit.  Its still not low enough to do slow smoking.  In order to cook something like Brisket, or Porx Butts, I need to get the temperature down to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit.