Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just call me Sweeney Todd of the Woods

Or maybe the Diamondhead Butcher. That's how I spent my day anyway- butchering. I felt like I was re-enacting a forensics scene. At least I wasn't the killer !!!!

Lots of people are concerned about what kinds of foods they are consuming these days. A lot of factory farms use too many chemicals/drugs in livestock production. Cows eat things cows aren't meant to eat. In the grand scheme of things, you can't get more organic than a humanely harvested deer. Venison is a very lean and delicious protein on top of the lack of chemicals and human interference. The chef and I are not hunters but we do have friends that hunt and share their bounty with us. This week we were given almost a half deer- on the bone still so we have to do our own "butchering".

I am not grossed out by cutting up raw meat, especially since this has pretty much been cleaned up- it looks like the big hunks of beef you see hanging in meat coolers. So armed with my extremely sharp Cutco knife (yes, that is a shameless plug for Cutco but they do make amazing knives), a plastic tablecloth, cutting board, and several bowls, I went to work.

First on the agenda, getting some beautiful slices for jerky. A lot of our hunter friends like the ground meat jerky but I like the real old-style sliced jerky- it has more bite and if sliced right, a nice texture. I got that done and set aside in jerky cure with marinade and continued on. I just used a simple marinade and jerky cure packet for this one- I will get to playing with flavors and cranking up the heat with future batches.

As I cut a large portion of the leg meat off I got a beautiful pot roast- cut perfectly against the grain so it will be perfect in the crockpot. Boneless and super lean this s going to be a real treat.

After that I worked on getting a much remaining meat off as I could. Mostly cubed, I plan on canning some and if I have room- getting some frozen for stews and soups.

Cutting up such a large piece of an animal is pretty hard work, and after about 3 hours of cutting I called it a night. I used a cheap party store plastic tablecloth to cover the table so I just wrapped it back up and stuck it back in the fridge for tomorrow.

I'm excited to use all this delicious venison in many tasty recipes and of course I will share them with you. I'm open to suggestions too! Just post in the comments if there is something you'd like to see, or a favorite recipe of yours- links welcome.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Pumpkin Flour Project- Part 1

Do you ever get an idea that seems like a really good idea with just a wee touch of weird? I've been tossing this idea around in my head for a year- how to make flour from pumpkin. 

Why flour ? Well, I have been working on a recipe for almost two years- a lot of trial and error. Well, pretty much ALL trial and error. Using cooked pumpkin, dehydrated and ground into powder, didn't work AT ALL. I knew raw was the way to go.

Fall rolls around and I've been playing with this idea for some time and all the pumpkin patches are open, it's time to find the perfect pumpkin. And I do! I bring my pumpkin home and baby it lovingly until I have time to go on to the next step. Cutting up and cleaning a pumpkin is a super easy piece of cake if you're not trying to just scrape out the gooey stuff for a jack-o-lantern. I cut it up into manageable pieces, cut off the inside and loose crumbly pumpkin and cut off the peel. After slicing the whole guy into thin slices (it looked like I had a giant bowl of cheddar cheese squares) I spread them out in the dehydrator and let it dry completely.

Nine dehydrator trays yielded....... a smallish bowl of dried slices.

Once the pumpkin slices are completely dry, let them cool and store in airtight container until you are ready to grind into flour. I used a food processor because that's what I have- I doubt a grain grinder would have worked for dried slices.

I started grinding in the processor, then sifted out the flour from the little bits.

The little bits I ground by hand with my old fashioned spice grinder that came from Germany.

The little bits reminded me of instant mashed potatoes.

After a lot of grinding, sifting, regrinding, resifting, and grinding in the spice grinder, I ended up with just about 2 cups of pumpkin flour. What becomes of the pumpkin flour ??  You will have to stay tuned !! I guarantee it will be worth the wait !!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's my steak, I can call it what I want !

Another cold Iowa night, and another excellent reason to break out the Le Creuset dutch oven and experiment. A quick mental inventory of some of the foods on hand, things I'd canned, what I needed to grab at the store and an idea is born.

But first, a little trip to Italy. As I have said before, my mother was born and raised in Germany, and growing up and as a young adult I've spent quite a lot of time in Europe. One of the most beautiful places I've visited is the largest lake in Italy, halfway between Milan and Venice, carved by glaciers in the Alps, the stunning Lago di Garda. 

The northernmost part of the lake is surrounded by the Gruppo del Baldo mountains. The lake has many small islands and five main ones. The lake is fed by the Sarca River, and it's outlet is the Mincio River.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well......because I can! And I am pretending to be Mario Batali because he knows EVERYTHING about the region from which he is cooking. Besides, I have plenty to talk about later when we get to the food.

Another interesting fact about this region is the mild climate. A lot of Mediterranean plants grow there that are extremely rare at the lake's altitude, like olive trees and even citrus in some areas. Tourism in this region is a booming business and if you ever get the chance to go, you'll fall in love.

So the point really has nothing to do with my recipe, other than it's Italian influenced flavors and it's very clever (I think so anyway) name: Steako di Garda. Hahahahahaha I crack myself up sometimes.

Now, let's get to the food.

Ready to go in the oven.

For this recipe you're going to need some pretty simple items. Steak- I chose lean round steak because I am going to slowly braise it but you can use any cut of steak you like that holds up to low and slow cooking. A medium bell pepper. I went with green because I needed the color, but use what you like or have on hand. Half an onion, sliced- and DON'T be one of those sillyheads who fall for that internet malarchy that saving half an onion makes it poisonous. That's a bunch of hooey. Save your other half for something else. A couple garlic cloves, sliced, and you're ready for that part.

You will also need about 2 cups of Italian seasoned tomatoes. I used some from my garden that I had cut up,tossed with Italian seasoning and froze in portions in freezer bags. You can use canned, home canned or store bought, or cut up enough fresh tomatoes to make about 2 cups and add some Italian seasoning. I also used a pint jar that I had canned containing cut up tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini. You can either use more tomatoes or skip it, or add fresh- whatever you have on hand.

I like to cook with as little mess as possible so when I opened my package of steak I flipped the plastic off and set the meat on the plastic and added about 1/2 cup of flour to the other half of the meat package. Disposable dredging station!

Start by heating a couple tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven. Add the sliced vegetables and let them sweat down a bit. Then scoot them to one side and begin searing the steak pieces. Add additional oil if needed.

As you finish them, pile them on the veggies so you don't need to dirty another plate. Once all the steak pieces (I had 4) are seared, spread the steak and peppers out in the pot, add the tomato mixture(s), a tablespoon or two of beef base or red wine if you have it, give it a quick mix, cover, and put in a 325 for a couple hours. The squash will probably break down but that's ok. This leaves a luscious flavorful broth.

I served the steak with hot buttered gemelli and crusty bread. 

Steako di Garda!!!

******Note:Pictures of Lago di Gardo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Table for Two- Mexican Posole

I promised myself I would do it. I am going to cook my way through Table for Two- Back for Seconds. And I am soooo happy with my kickoff choice !!

Since we live in a small town, with a very small grocery store, we often get stuck in a food rut. I am always looking for something new to liven up the menu around the house. And as many of us know, cooking for two, and sometimes just me, can be a challenge. And then along came Warren Caterson's new cookbook. Things just got real interesting around here!! Mentally going over what was in my cupboard, I finally decided on Mexican Posole, a super easy to fix soup that looked very intriguing. For one thing, it uses salsa verde, which I had just canned a batch of and was looking for ways to use it, and it has cilantro as an ingredient. I am learning to embrace cilantro by MAKING myself eat it enough.

So Sunday arrives, and it's usually my day to cook, as my Chef is enjoying his weekend away from the kitchen. I assemble my ingredients, cook my chicken breasts in the oven, chop up the cilantro, and get everything ready. 

If I said this was a SUPER easy recipe for a weeknight dinner, I would NOT be lying. It comes together so quickly!! If I had precooked or leftover chicken I literally would have had dinner on the table in 15 minutes.

So I artfully arrange my ingredients on the board to take a picture, get that done, assemble the soup, dish up a bowl for Joe and a bowl for a photo and he says.........something's missing. Oh my....... I forgot to add the ONE INGREDIENT I was most excited to use !!! Back into the pot, add the SALSA VERDE and heat it back up.

Now we're talking!! This is perfection in a bowl. Delicious flavorful broth, the right amount of heat (for us- I made my own salsa verde but you can use whatever brand/heat level you like) and tons of meaty chunks of chicken and hominy- if you're not familiar with hominy- get some!! It's delicious !! And the cilantro? It's perfect !! The perfect amount of freshness, not the soapy taste I often get from cilantro. I'm learning to love this stuff !

Sadly, I am not going to share the recipe for you. You NEED TO buy this cookbook!!!! You can get your copy by clicking here. You will love it- I promise.

Now I can't wait to pick out my next recipe to make !! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

First Look: Table for Two, Back for Seconds

I love cookbooks. There, I said it. I admitted it, in a rehab sort of way. I love cookbooks. I collect cookbooks. I hoard them. But like other people read best sellers, I read them. Cover to cover, page after page, ingredient list after ingredient list.

Some 400 plus cookbooks make up my collection. Some of them are old church cookbooks and some are the latest musings of the hottest celebrity chefs. Fundraising cookbooks, Better Homes and Gardens, heck I even have Julia Child's epic tome Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

There is a point to this story......I'm getting there. A while back I happened to "meet" a very interesting gentleman on Facebook along my blogging and Facebook page journey, the very talented and down to earth Chef Warren Caterson. The more we chatted the more I became interested in his cooking story. Among his many endeavors in his professional life, writing cookbooks happens to be one of them. Lucky for me !!!

Just the other day I opened my mailbox and voila! A copy of his latest book, Table for Two, Back for Seconds, was hiding in there! Autographed even! I felt like a little kid on Christmas. 

So now I have the book, it's time to do some reading. And cooking! Talking with Warren the other evening I tossed around the idea of cooking through the book, every recipe, just like Julie in the movie Julie and Julia. I think that's exactly what I am going to do. Not page by page of course, I'm going to mix it up, starting with Mexican Posole Soup. Why start there? One of the ingredients is salsa verde, and I just happened to have canned a batch. Second on the list, the Arroz Con Pollo.

The best thing about the recipes in Warren's book is the real-life ability to prepare these dishes. Now I have Mario Batali's books and there are ingredients in some recipes I have never seen, or even heard of- and I have lived, cooked and dined all over the world. From the humble Grilled Cheese for Grownups to Beef Wellington, everything is crafted in a way anyone who can READ can make these fabulous dishes. The ingredients are all readily available and most importantly- affordable.

This weekend, I am going to immerse myself in this book and cook up a storm. Why? Because I can!

You can get your own copy of this must-have cookbook, which is great for empty-nesters like me, newlyweds and even single people who might want to have a guest over for dinner, as well as Warren's first cookbook, Table for Two, by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Looking back on Summer and Autumn 2013

What a wild ride !!!

My grandson, enjoying the warm autumn sunshine at the pumpkin patch.

Our spring started off with a wonderful early warm spring, with plenty of rain and hopes of an early gardening season. Hopes are often dashed, as was the case in 2013. A May snowstorm wiped out all my early baby garden plants, darnit, and forced a do-over.

Crazy snow followed by more rain, some flooding and then a typical Iowa summer. Heat and humidity, wilty plants and not enough rain when we need it- same old story.

This year we again went with an all-container garden but scaled way way back on plants. Just a few cherry tomatoes and herbs. We planned on relying on Hilltop Farms for our canning tomatoes and again this summer we were able to pick hundreds of pounds of tomatoes. 

The last day of picking tomatoes, and all the free apples we could pick- LOTS to do!
This was also a first time for me as a vendor at the local farmers market. Not the best experience overall, and likely not one I will repeat in the future. But I can never say never.

My qwest for wild plums hit the jackpot this year! I was able to find loads and loads of trees, and had a big bowlful before I decided they were not worth the effort. We also found a giant pear tree in the middle of nowhere and picked fresh pears by the bucketful, canned some and ate some fresh. I also gathered walnuts fallen from our trees, and well..... we'll see if I really get around to cracking them.

The generosity of small town people was evident this year as well. We were invited by friends in the nearby town to pick as many apples as we wanted- and they had many amazing fruit trees. Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious and a red apple a lot like Red Delicious but a very deep red, almost purple. Soooooo delicious and FREE. Our cupboards are filled with canned apple slices, applesauce and caramel apple butter, as well as dried apple chips. Apples fill the freezer as well, and we still have boxes left.

I mentioned Hilltop Farms earlier. This family farm is my favorite place on earth. It's a pick your own produce farm with a veggie stand for those who don't want or can't pick their own. In the summer we bought tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for pickles at amazingly low prices, but the real spirit of generosity shows in these amazing Christian people by their offer of a Free Pick Day the day before the first killing frost. That day came with cold wind and colder rain but it didn't keep me from the field. A few ripe tomatoes remained but I picked many bags of green tomatoes knowing they would ripen later, and could be used green in some recipes. Their generosity will help feed us over the winter months.

It wouldn't be autumn in Iowa without a visit to a pumpkin patch. Most of the pumpkin patches here are also apple orchards so while I didn't get any apples, I spent the day with my daughter, son in law, and grandson, wandering the pumpkin fields. 

Pumpkins of all kinds are planted as far as the eye can see. All sizes, all colors, some vines still covered in blossoms.

Another part of the field is covered in many different gourds and squash vines. The gourd blossoms were so different from the pumpkin blossoms!

My grandson helped me pick out several interesting gourds for decoration and the perfect pumpkin, which wasn't carved into a jack-o-lantern, but will be dehydrated and ground into flour for use in a super secret recipe that's in the works (you'll have to stay tuned for that!).

And now, after we have had our first snowfall, and as Thanksgiving approaches, most of the produce has been preserved, it's time to be thankful for the things we too often take for granted- friends, family, and farmers. Spring will be here before we know it, and we do it all again!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spicing things up

What would cooking be without herbs and spices ? Even your bare bones salt and pepper do so much to add flavor to food. I cannot imagine cooking without access to my BOOKCASE of herbs and spices, seasoning blends, herb mixtures and different salts. I grow my own herbs  all summer and inside in the fall as long as I can keep them alive. My dehydrator is my friend (yes.......I KNOW fresh is best, but this is Iowa, RURAL Iowa at that- not a lot of affordable fresh herbs out here).

I am often asked what my favorite herb or spice is. That's a tough one. I CAN tell you which one I hate. There are two actually- cilantro and cinnamon. Cilantro because of it's soapy "lawn grass" taste- I'm trying to acquire the taste-time will tell, and cinnamon, because of a looooong ago very bad Firewater experience. Just the smell...... I'm shuddering in disgust just thinking about it.

Anyway- favorites. I posed this question on the Rockin' the Kitchen Facebook page today and got a fairly good convo going. Garlic, salt and pepper were overwhelming faves, followed by crushed red pepper flakes. Yes, technically garlic and red pepper aren't herbs or spices but for the sake of this story, we are counting them as such. Seasoned salts, flavored salts and even Good Seasons salad dressing mix made the list. Basil and rosemary also got a nod. My personal favorite herbs are the Italian family herbs- basil, parsley, oregano, and the French style- chervil, thyme, chives. Spices- I would definitely go with nutmeg and cloves. Love their aromatic properties.

Picking fresh herbs to go with dinner- oregano and thyme.

But besides adding just good flavor and color to our food, herbs and spices have a TON of beneficial properties as well. For example, garlic is well known to have cardiac benefits and lots of vitamin C (maybe you didn't know THAT little factoid). But what else is good for us? My dreaded enemy cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. It also has calming effects, stimulates circulation, may ease arthritis symptoms and muscle cramps. Rosemary contains compounds that help get rid of food-borne bacteria in meat (I never roast anything without rosemary!!) New research is finding rosemary may also help improve brain function and memory. Who knew the little herb that to me smells like a pine tree might one day provide a solution to Alzheimer's?  I just love it's earthy fragrance. I love to touch the plant and smell it on my skin. Ahhhhhhh.......

Fresh chives in a pot- easy to clip off just what you need.

If you've read more than three entries on this blog you know we are serious chileheads in this household, so it's no surprise to me that cayenne peppers (as well as other peppers) have a lot of health benefits. Capsaicin, the compound in peppers that carries the heat, is used in pain relief creams because of it's warming properties. Peppers also raise your metabolism and might even aid in fat burning- all the more reason to eat peppers !!

Red basil. Same great taste just a prettier leaf.

One of the yuckies for me is cilantro. I am just not a fan. I'm trying to be. I'm getting better. Latin American food often is accented with cilantro and many Asian dishes contain a lot of it. If I plan on continuing to eat and explore these cuisines, I'm going to have to get used to it, right ? And I might even try harder now that I know it may help relieve anxiety and stress- and who doesn't have THAT in their lives? I know I sure do. Rumor has it, it also helps lower cholesterol. That's a pretty impressive resume for an herb I need to learn to embrace.

Rosemary happily grows with flowers.

Cumin and turmeric are two spices I used a lot this canning season- in pickles and tomato jam. Good thing too !! Cumin boosts your immune system and turmeric eases depression. It's bright yellow color is loaded with antioxidants, and we all know what that means- loaded with cancer fighting compounds. Plus it makes Bread and Butter Pickles look so amazingly beautiful in their jars. Cumin is one of the best smells ever- it's like tacos in a spice jar.

Thyme adds a fragrant, lemony touch to foods.

And finally......fennel. What an interesting plant fennel is. Pretty much the whole plant is edible-  the bulb is delicious sliced raw into salads and slaws, or tossed in sautes, the fronds make excellent fresh herb use and in salads, and of course, sausage wouldn't be sausage without those wonderful seeds. Because most of the plant is edible, it's a great source of fiber, and lots of vitamin C.  You bean lovers might want to keep this in mind too- it helps relieve gas in the intestinal tract, which is a BIG PLUS !!!

While there is no recipe this time, I hope you guys learned at least one new thing about herbs and spices. And..... I hope you will get out the spices and herbs and experiment with flavors and combos, make your own seasoning blends and meat rubs. Have fun playing with your food!

Friday, September 20, 2013

I must be crazy !!!!!

Yes, I must be certifiably insane. Why?? SOMEONE (insert my name here) decided it would be a good idea to make ghost chile hot sauce inside the house. Oh the windows ARE open and fans going like crazy but still.........the ingredients: vinegar, ghosts, garlic, salt. I think that might also be the recipe for napalm but I'm not sure.

Ever since the Chef and I discovered all the different hot peppers out there I have been wanting to make a Tabasco/Franks type sauce with super hots. I have read, met chileheads and shared recipes, and researched the internet like crazy. Finally, I have settled on what I think, and HOPE, will be successful.

So if you're brave enough.........

approximately 20-30 ghost chiles, stems removed 
3 cups white or cider vinegar
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 tb kosher salt.

Combine all in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 45 mins to an hour. Peppers will be very tender. Let cool overnight.

Blend or run thru a food processor, strain thru fine sieve and pack in bottles or 4 oz canning jars. Lasts in the fridge a long time, but you can process in a BWB for 10 minutes, after reheating the sauce first.

** Note- I scooped mostly peppers and garlic into the processor, pureed, then added vinegar from the pot til I got the consistency I wanted, a little body and not as runny. It is EXTREMELY hot and please taste test a TINY bit before you dump it in your hot wings.

Good luck !!!!! This sauce is VERY VERY hot !!!!

And I HIGHLY recommend you get your fresh ghost peppers from and NOWHERE else. I guarantee, you will NOT find better peppers, faster service or a nicer guy than the owner.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eating like a bird.....

While eating a bird. That seems so........wrong. Yet delicious.

So the chef and I are into trying new grains. Rice gets old. And it's not all that great for you nutritionwise- we can do better. And we have been scouring the markets and gourmet shops and websites, grocery co-ops, you name it, for unique new grains to try. This time around it's millet, which truly does look like bird seed. I did my research on cooking techniques and it's pretty much just like rice or quinoa, one part grain, two parts water. I also learned that if you use 3 parts water it cooks down to a porridgelike consistency and is often eaten for breakfast.

But I am making dinner so let's get to that.

Everyone knows I am a canner. If you don't you just met me five minutes ago. I have been trying new recipes every year and one that is super popular with other canners is "Cowboy Candy", sliced candied jalapenos in a spicy sweet syrup. A lot of people use it like pepper jelly, served on cream cheese and crackers. (I'll post that recipe below).  I have been trying tho think outside the box and use this sweet hot condiment in a different way- a sauce !!

Now, the details:

1 jar Cowboy Candy
1 package chicken breasts (I used a package of two halves)
1/4 cup brown sugar
kosher salt
3 tbs butter at room temperature
1 cup millet
2 cups water
1 tb butter

Let's get the chicken going first. I cut the breast halves into halves leaving me with 4 pieces of chicken. Place in lightly oiled baking pan. Mix brown sugar with several tablespoons of the syrup from the Cowboy Candy, testing til you get the desired heat/sweet balance. Add butter and mash/mix (it will look curdled and weird but that's ok). Pour over chicken and top each piece with jalapeno slices. Bake at 425 degrees about 20 minutes or until chicken tests done.

While the chicken is baking, put the millet in a small saucepan and heat over high heat,stirring constantly, to slightly toast the grain. Add the water, butter, dash of salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until done. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

I served the chicken sliced over the millet, drizzled with the pan sauce and a vegetable.

Now for the Cowboy Candy- this is a VERY common recipe canners have been sharing for generations. I do not have any idea who originally invented the recipe, or even this particular version, but it's been shared and passed around so much I think it's ok to put it here.
  • 3 lb firm, fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 3 tsp granulated garlic (I had to sub 2 cloves super minced fresh)
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Wearing gloves, remove stem end from peppers and slice into uniform 1/4 inch thick slices. Set aside.

In a large pot bring remaining ingredients to boil. Reduce heat, simmer five minutes, then add pepper slices and simmer 4 more minutes. Using a slotted spoon, pack peppers into hot sterile canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Bring heat back up under the pot and boil the syrup at a full rolling boil for 6 minutes.

Ladle syrup over peppers. Remove air bubbles, fix lids and rims and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, age peppers for at least two weeks.

*Note- if you want to skip the canning step, just divide the peppers and syrup among jars or freezer containers and store in the fridge. They are a pickled product so they will last a while.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Jeremy's turn to rock the kitchen!

How about a different twist on things? Instead of the Chef or myself rockin' the kitchen, we are handing the cooking duties over to my nephew Jeremy, who is also a foodie and loves to get in the kitchen and show his stuff. He and I spent a day at the World Food Festival last year and have enjoyed a couple visits to Zombie Burger to sample the deadly delights, so when he was talking about the dinner he planned to cook, I couldn't help myself- I asked him to take pictures !!!!

Jeremy's dish is a man-sized load of meaty goodness, steak, bacon and a lot of delicious stuff inside. He made three different steak rolls, one is a take on Philly Cheesesteak with peppers, onion and cheese loaded inside. The other is a simpler vegetable filling. And another loaded with pepper jack and fresh jalapenos. Seasoning the meat is key and Jeremy has it down just right. I can't WAIT to get all the delicious details and share this with you.

So here we go.........

Bacon Swiss Steak Roll

flank steak, flat iron, or sirloin- you will need a large piece of meat you can roll
pepper jack cheese (or whatever cheese you like)
green pepper
jalapeno pepper
seasonings as desired

Ok, here is how Jeremy made his meaty rolls of delish.

Start out but smoothing the meat out on your work surface. Depending on the cut of meat you may want to or need to use a meat tenderizer to pound it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Season the meat. Jeremy used seasoned salt, garlic powder and steak seasoning.

On top of the meat, lay out your ingredients- He made 3 separate rolls, on jalapeno and pepper jack cheese, one "Philly Cheese Steak" and one with just the veggies and no cheese.

Carefully roll the meat tightly and secure with baking twine. Place on rack in roasting pan and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

White the meat is roasting, make your bacon basket weave.

It's easy to do on a sheet of foil so you can roll it up easier.  Remove the meat from the oven, remove the twine and roll each roll in the bacon weave, wrapping tightly with foil, and return to oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, unwrap meat and place back on rack.

Run under the broiler for several minutes to crisp up the bacon. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Jeremy has a large family so he made three rolls. This recipe is so easy to adjust up or down to your needs and tastes. You can stuff the rolls with any combination of cheese or no cheese, veggies of all kinds, there is no limit !!!!

Next weekend the World Food Festival is on again, and as is tradition, my nephew and I will be there, and later sharing the experience with you!