What can I say…
I was nominated for this award by Aria, so thank you for this! Much appreciated.
Here are the rules:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you, link back to their site
- Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself
- Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish
- Use the award image
Let’s just get right into it.
I’m a great cook. It’s a skill that I find is actually quite easy to learn too. You start with recipes, learn to cook most dishes that way. And then eventually you can just take those recipes and adapt them to what you want.
I’m also a self proclaimed grill master. I sold barbeques full time for 4 summers while I was attending University, and learned a great deal about them. The grill itself, accessories, tips & tricks, I know a lot more than the average person in this area. I’ve also assembled at least 500 barbeques!
It’s funny because when I live alone (like I was for the last 2 years up until recently), I tend to just eat basic meals like chicken w/ rice, or tuna on a plate of spinach. But when I’m cooking for more than just myself, I love going beyond that and making nice dishes / grilling some good stuff.
I love watching the food network too. Great for ideas and inspiration. Beat Bobby Flay is one of my favourite shows on there.
Now that the rules portion of the post is out of the way, I’ll mention some “tricks” that I like to use that can make a regular meal a great meal.
First is a generic spice blend that is good on any and all meat (as well as omelettes, and various hot foods). It consists of:
- One part onion powder
- Two parts garlic powder
- One part black pepper
- One part Italian seasoning (Oregano works too)
- 1/2 part salt
One part in this case for me generally means one teaspoon, but depending on how much you want to make one part could mean one tablespoon. I’m pretty liberal about it though, and so if I want more garlic flavour I’ll add more garlic powder. Or if I’m using the blend on beef I like to add extra onion powder (especially for ground beef).
That’s the base blend, but you can add extra spices to the base blend as well:
- Add 1/2 part cayenne pepper (or more if you really like spicy) and you have a nice basic Cajun blend. Can also add more black pepper.
- Add 1/2 part cumin and you have a basic Taco blend.
- Swap the Italian seasoning for Basil and the blend is great in tomato sauce, as well as on pizza. You can also just add Basil to the base blend, that’s good too.
Basically it turns out that garlic powder and onion powder together are a force to be reckoned with. It’s something that I’ve picked up and used for a while now and works well. Still seeing what else I can add to it – I’ve been meaning to experiment with cinnamon, for example. I’ve also heard that coffee good too on certain meats.
Speaking of spices, here is one other delicious thing to do with them:
Make spiced butter!
Take room temperature butter in a bowl, add spices, and mix them together, Then scrape the now spiced butter onto some plastic wrap, and you can roll it up into a “bar”. You can cut slices of this butter off and place it on freshly cooked meats.
I love putting a slice of spiced butter on my steaks. Because of the spices you don’t notice the buttery taste as much, but you still get the nice moisture from the melted butter. When it melts it’s basically like a sauce on the steak. I definitely recommend trying this! I ALWAYS put spiced butter on the steaks I grill now, and people love it. It can make even the driest steaks more moist and delicious. Just put some spiced butter on your steak while it is resting after it has come off the grill, and serve.
The other thing I love to do on the grill is smoking. I currently use a gas grill, but that doesn’t stop me from cooking some nice smoked meat. The easiest way is to buy wood planks from the store, but you can also use wood chips wrapped in tin foil with holes poked in the top. You soak the wood (how long depends on the size, if you buy some it’ll say on the package), and place it directly on the grills.
The goal is to get the wood to catch fire, but not burn too quickly. You want it to smolder, but this isn’t always that easy. Depending on how long it was soaked, you might not be able to achieve that. So I always say just try and get it to catch fire, just from the temperature of the burners below. (For charcoal grills you can just throw the wood into the coals, super easy). You’ll know when it’s smoking when your eyes are watering from the insane amount of smoke that comes out when you lift the lid.
Because this is smoking on a grill, you can’t get away with smoking the meat for hours on end as easily. Some grills probably can, the one I use now definitely can’t (it retains heat too well). So I basically wait till the wood catches fire / starts smoking, throw everything I am cooking on, and cook it normally. Ideally you want the meat to stay raw as long as possible while exposed to the smoke, so you could put it on the warming rack or something like this, but it may dry out so be careful.
Below is a general flavour guide, although in reality you can smoke anything with anything and it’ll probably still be pretty good.
- Hickory – Good with beef, pork, chicken. Hickory is that basic “smokey” flavour, and the flavour I’d recommend to anyone who hasn’t tried smoking before.
- Cedar – Amazing with fish. Good with pork. Cedar planked salmon is amazing, definitely try it out if you love fish.
- Maple – Good with pork and chicken.
- Mesquite – Good with beef.
- Cherry / Apple – Good with pork. Apple is also a good wood to try out – especially great with bacon and ribs.
- Alder – (Never actually tried Alder wood before) Supposed to be good with pork.
Pork is good with everything, as you can see. In reality you can do whatever you want though, it’ll still give your meat a new flavour. You can also smoke vegetables, but it’s more hit and miss whether they will retain the smoke flavour. Although one nice combination is smoked bacon wrapped asparagus (with optional cream cheese inside).
Anyways that’s my one positive “paragraph” about myself, and then a whole bunch of me going crazy with some cooking stuff. I didn’t think I’d end up with an opportunity to write about cooking on this anime blog, but looks like I found it!
Thanks again for the nomination Aria.
Until next time!
Thanks for reading.