Cooking With Fire

Steaks In The Living Room Fireplace!

Wood Fired oven

We have a wood fired oven on the patio and it cooks the best food. We can’t use it in winter but we still want the taste of of cooking with fire. The solution is cooking in the wood-burning fireplace. We live in the country and the power can go out during bad winter weather so we kept a wood-burning fireplace as a source of heat.  The added benefit is cooking in it when you want that subtle taste that you get from the wood fired oven in summer.

Our son maintains “If you aren’t cooking with fire, you aren’t really cooking”!  We agree.  With that in mind we cooked our steak dinner in the fireplace tonight. We have fitted the fireplace with a BBQ grill that is supported by firebrick set on their side. This gives just the right height when cooking meat. We cook steak, chops and we’ve also done homemade pizza with way. The taste is fantastic!  When we prune old fruit trees, we save the cuttings for cooking.  Adding them to the fire gives the meat added flavor.

Cooking steak, is real simple:

Worchestershire Sauce and Montreal Steak Spice to marinate the meat.

seasoned ribeye steak

Season the meat 3 hours before cooking. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before grilling. This gives the best result. Charred outside, juicy and tender inside.

Cooking Method: Start your fire with hardwood  about 40 minutes before you wan to grill.  If you can get it, add the fruit wood when the hardwood has turned to embers. Once the fruit wood is mostly embers, it’s time to Grill!  Oil the grill and set in place.   When you place the meat on the grill you want the embers just off to the side below the meat otherwise it will burn on the outside before it’s cooked to perfection inside.

fire grilled ribeye steakCook the meat until you get a good char for about 4 minutes per side. Flip it over and allow to char on the other side.  Cooking time depends on the thickness of the steak. We only cook 1 to 1 & 1/2 inch thick steaks and chops. They stay juicy during the high heat grilling. Remove to a heated tray and cover with foil for 5 minutes.

cooking with fireSlice the meat. If it’s a bit too rare, pop it back on the grill on the tray for 2 minutes. Serve with your favorite side dish. Tonight we had Mushroom Crostini and Tomato Salad.  This is fabulous Steak Dinner, we both agreed its as good or better than the Keg.

BBQ Ribeye steakIf you have a wood-burning fireplace we challenge you to use it to cook your next steak. You won’t be sorry.

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Cran-Apple Sauce

Kick Up The Turkey This Year!

Who does not love the tart, sweet taste of Cranberry Sauce with Turkey or Pork?   We foraged so many apples this year that we thought they should be incorporated in our annual Cranberry Sauce making.  This year was an amazing year for apples.  Since we live in the country, we have old trees right here in the yard but the road sides were abundant with “Free Food” too.

homemade cran-apple sauceWe love not knowing what we’re going to get when we forage.  Some apples were sweet and crisp, some were so very tart, others were a bit mealy.  No matter, by mixing up the apples we created so many wonderful treats. Our Cran-Apple Sauce is just one of them.

Look at that color!

We used the sweeter apples that we foraged for this recipe.  If you can get Honey Crisp, or Royal Gala they will compliment the Cranberries wonderfully. We do not make a super sweet Cran-Apple Sauce. We like it to be tart.

peeling apples

TwoFoodNuts Cran-Apple Sauce:

  • 3 cups cranberries (they can be fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes the size of the Cranberries
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon

cran-apple mixPlace everything into a large saucepan.   Heat to a boil and then turn the heat to medium.  Cook the mixture until the berries burst and the sauce thickens. Pour into sterile jars and hand tighten the lids.

filling canning jarsYour work here is done!

Cook’s Tip: It’s vital to sterilize canning jars before filling.  Wash jars and lids well in hot soapy water or clean in dishwasher.  Next, fill each jar with 1/2 inch of water and place in Microwave for 5 minutes on full power right before filling.  Lids should be placed into a bowl and pour boiling water over them for 5 minutes before sealing the jars.  Keep in fridge to be food safe and use within 3 months.  Not a problem at our house.

sterilizing canning carsDiscover new ways to use our Cran-Apple Sauce by serving with your next bacon and cheese sandwich or better yet, spread it on the filling of a Paninni with Ham and Swiss cheese.  Your next grilled Pork chop will love being accompanied by this sauce too! Even your crackers and cheese will never be the same with the addition of a little Cran-Apple Sauce!

TwoFoodNuts Cran-apple Sauce

 

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp An Old Fashioned Dessert.

Homemade apple crisp

Apple Crisp is a go to recipe when we have an abundance of apples. This year we foraged so many apples  that we promised we’d share all our best recipes with you.  We like to make a batch of these crisps and freeze them so we can grab one and bake it off at a moment’s notice.

foraging for apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s recipe makes 4 mini crisps or it will make one family size. Lets get started.

TwoFoodNuts Apple Crisp:

The filling:

  • 3 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 allspice
  • 1/1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter cut into little cubes

Peel, core and slice the apples, place in a large bowl and add all but the butter. Divide into 4 mini foil loaf pans or place in one deep casserole for a single dessert.  Dot each crisp with the little butter cubes.

apple crisp filling

For the topping:

  • 1 cup of quick cooking Oatmeal. (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cold butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Place everything in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour and sugar to form crumbs. ( you can use a food processor to do this)

Apple Crisp

Sprinkle the crumb topping onto the fruit filling and cover with cling film and foil if freezing or pop into the oven at 350F until the filling bubbles up through the crumbs. This can take from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the crisp.

Top with freshly whipped cream or quality ice cream and serve.

Cooks Tip: Sometimes when we want to change it up a bit, we use a can of cherry pie filling on top of the apple filling. It bakes into the apples and gives you a most amazing Apple/Cherry crisp. It’s a great way to use a stock recipe but add variety! Try it

 

 

3 Fast and Easy Dinners

Make a Delicious Dinner In No Time!

We want to remind you that you can make fabulous dinners in under half and hour. So this weekend, pick a pasta and whip up a garlic bread side dish for your hungry family. One pasts is seafood, and two are vegetarian. None will break the bank but all will reward the crowd.

Got a bag of shrimp in the freezer? Then give this a try!  Shrimp in Rose’ Sauce

Shrimp pasta

Poor Man’s food that tastes like a million dollars! Here’s the recipe. Cucina Povera or Lemon Garlic Spaghetti

spaghetti-a-la-lemoneYour third choice can be made with jarred Pesto and frozen peas. Give it a go! Pasta, Pesto and Peas!

Pasta Pesto and peas

Add a side of our fabulous Garlic Bread!

twofoodnuts garlic bread

It’s a great way to start the weekend!

Bacon Burgers!

Put Bacon “In” Your Burger!

 

The world is full of good and bad burgers. We’ve eaten many over the years but in all honesty there’s nothing as good as a home made burger. You know just what’s in it and you control the salt. Fast Food burgers are loaded with salt because there’s no love in them!

Bacon burgers

One of our favorite burgers around here has bacon and cheese on it so we thought, why not put the bacon and cheese “in” the burger. We used lean ground pork for the burger as well.   It cooks up juicy, flavorful and loves all your favorite toppings.  If you have only ever used beef for your homemade burgers, you’ll want to give this a try.  Pork is not a high fat meat but it does have great taste. You can also make this with ground chicken or turkey if you do not eat pork.

Lets make those TwoFoodNuts Bacon Burgers:

This recipe makes 7-8 generous burgers

  • 2 lbs lean ground pork
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (Panko can be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmeasan
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

There are no eggs in these burgers so they are tender rather than dense.

Bacon Burgers

Begin by pouring the milk over the bread crumbs in a small bowl and allow to stand until the bacon is fried.  Fry the bacon until nice and crisp. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the fat and place in  the mixing bowl with the pork.  Add the soaked bread crumbs, the grated cheese and the seasonings. Mix lightly with a fork until you see that everything has been incorporated.

Divide the meat mix and form your burgers. We make this large batch and bag them individually so we can cook as many burgers as needed. Notice that we flatten them in the bags so they don’t have to defrost before grilling. These burgers are so rich and juicy you can pan fry them and they will be equally delicious.  Never press down on a burger when you are cooking it. This makes it dry.

Freezer Ready Bacon Burgers