Hey everyone, sorry it's taken me so long to get this posted but here are my recipes for my Feb Throwdown entry. First off, I just want to say again how much of an honor it was to be chosen as a winner, it was very unexpected. Congrats again to David as well, your entry looked great and I'm sure you will enjoy your prize very much, Todd does a great job with his product. Secondly, I'm going to apologize in advance for my lack of Q-View/prep photos on my entry. I had some ideas in the back of my mind but didn't think I would have any time to get an entry in so when I ended up with a free Sat morn, I was somewhat flustered and rushed to get everything together and didn't get any photos taken. I know I know, some may say no pics-never happened, but I assure you it did and I had a great time preparing it as well as eating it with my fam! Now down to the real business...
1) Bacon Wrapped Venison Kabobs- We do these fairly often. I like to use the backstraps or loins from deer I have taken. Cut them into bite size cubes and marinate in Italian dressing. I try to get the pieces cut into similar sizes to ensure fairly even cooking. After they have marinated to your liking, add to skewers and wrap each bite with a strip of bacon. We eat our venison pretty rare so I usually cook to around 140-145 degrees. This was the first time I used these stainless steel kabobs when I cooked these and if I hadn't had them probed I would've overcooked them because they cooked much faster with these.
2) Wings- First I like to rinse the wings and toss them all in some chipolte mesquite rub. I then threw these on the smoker with the kabobs at about 250 degrees until they reached about 150 degrees. Then I pulled them, added the various sauces or dry rub (chile lime, honey habanero, jalapeno peach, and chipolte mesquite rub), then threw them on the grill to finish and add some crispiness. These really all turned out great but by finishing on the grill it's hard to tell the different sauces apart by color so you have to pay attention!
3) Smoked Salmon Spread on Cucumbers & Crackers- The first step here is preparing the salmon. I used about 1/2 of a large Coho salmon fillet and marinated in the brown sugar and salt overnight. Then I rinsed and added some fresh ground black pepper and a little garlic powder and allowed the pellicle to form before I threw it on the smoker. I hot smoke this salmon until it got to temp then brought it in and allowed it to cool while I prepared the spread consisting of:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C sour cream
1 T lemon juice
1 T dill
1 t horseradish
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
I then use a fork to chunk up the salmon and check for bones and then mix it together. Sliced up some cucumbers and placed the spread on them and the crackers. The cucumbers really give it a nice fresh taste but you still get the crunch with the cracker.
4) Double Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta with French baguettes- The original recipe I have for this calls for only one of the two main cheeses (moz and provolone) to be smoked. I went ahead and smoked both using my A-Maze-N smoker and therefore came up with the double smoked version. The recipe also makes quite a large batch that is good for large parties but I cut it in third for smaller groups which is what I also did here. When I do this I just add the herbs and spices to taste. It is also interesting trying fresh moz vs the block moz. Changes the texture and who doesn't like fresh moz? This is the original recipe.
1 C sour cream
1 t thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t cayenne
3 C mozzarella
3 C provolone
3 T parmesan
3 T romano
Grate all your cheeses and mix the ingredients in a bowl. Bake at 450 until desired consistency, stirring every 4-5 min to prevent burning. Then I place it under the broiler to brown the top. Add diced tomatoes on top and lightly toast your french baguettes and your ready to party!
If anyone has any questions don't be afraid to ask. Again, sorry for the lack of pics but it may have been hard to discern what was going on in them anyway-it got a little crazy with the multiple dishes going at once as I'm no chef by any means.
Now I'd also like to give a shout out to Lisa Bilotta at Vacuum Sealers Unlimited. Thanks again for sponsoring the site and the throwdown! Let me tell everyone, she was great to work with. For my prize she let me select from several different combos of her product. I went with the gallon and quart bags. However, I was interested in a couple of her other products which I went ahead and ordered and she combined the shipping on the whole lot! She was great about responding to my emails and even called me personally to let me know when she was shipping everything out! Great customer service and it looks/feels like a great product, I can't wait to try them out.
Good luck to everyone on upcoming throwdowns! Time and idea permitting I would love to enter another!