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thirdeye

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thirdeye last won the day on April 16

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About thirdeye

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family
  • Birthday 11/21/1956

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    Home on the range in Wyoming
  1. Yes, I make a sweet version for two friends of mine, they call it candied salmon, but I don't apply the maple syrup until the last hour. I thin it slightly with hot water, and a couple of times I used a mix of agave nectar and maple syrup. The sweet combines well the flavors of garlic and pepper doesn't it?
  2. About 10 days ago I came across steelhead on sale, it's one of my favorites for smoking, great fat ratio and the thickness is very uniform. I did keep two pieces for myself and made suprise gifts out of the rest. Last Wednesday I went out to a local lake and caught a few rainbow's, I managed to prep them the same day and did my dry cure for a few hours, rinsing them about 11PM and holding in the fridge until the next morning, then smoking them.... roughly 18 hours from the water to the smoker... but I'm getting a little greedier, I kept 3 fillets this time These were seasoned with a homemade garlic pepper blend, and also coarse ground black pepper. I took the internal up to 150° and used a pellet blend of hickory, cherry, apple and hard maple in my Big Chief box smoker.
  3. I use a sawdust tray so the amount of smoke is really gentle, so gentle in fact I can go with stronger wood, this batch was hickory. It looks about the same. The cheddar picks up a little color and the pepper flecks in the pepper jack are a little darker.
  4. Last week we got a cold snap so I did 5# of cheddar and pepper jack, and as of yesterday I had given all but 3 sticks of it away ... So, today it's in the high 30's and I'm doing another batch, but this time I plan on keeping at least 6 sticks for us!! Later I'll put on a few sticks of butter just because.
  5. I did consider texture changes as well and all I can tell so far is that folks sharing online recipes and photo's didn't have serious issues with that. They did mention having to cook out absorbed liquid when they heated up the canned slices. When I get around to my experiment I believe I'll do some jars with fatty slices and some with cased sausage.
  6. I guess it's more of an experiment for now... and you are right about freezing slices of the fatty in vacuum bags, they hold well and reheat like a dream in the micro. I would most likely use pork broth, and it would be pretty easy to smoke a chop of pork steak to use when making the stock.
  7. I usually can chicken, pork shoulder and trout/salmon and recently have seen some articles or posts about canning sausage. There is an approved method in the Ball Blue Book and the standard procedure I've seen is to form patties, brown them, stack in jars, add hot liquid and process. I've also seen a few people take stuffed sausage, slice them 1.5" long (leaving the casing on), brown, load into jars, add hot liquid and process. So far so good.... what I'm thinking is to can slices from a smoked fatty (the 1# logs that are cooked whole). This would give them more flavor, and since I would slice after smoking I could make very uniform pieces and could make them as thick as I wanted. If I try a few jars of stuffed sausage pieces I think it would be better to smoke or grill the links, then slice after partially cooking.... again for uniformity. I'm wondering if any other canners have tried canning sausage, or what anyone thinks about my plan. The first photo are a couple of fatties on my smoker. The next photo shows sliced fatties I'm taking to work, so this is how I'd slice them for canning.
  8. I have smoked pike a few times, never walleye or perch.... my experience has always been trout, steelhead and salmon. It is easier to adjust the salt in a wet brine and your control with using a dry cure is time. Dry cures (sugar, salt, seasonings) verses a dry rub essentially turn from a dry mix to a syrup once they are in contact with the flesh. Each fillet is wrapped in plastic wrap, so the syrup is contained. Upon unwrapping they get rinsed then rested before smoking. One method which is common for additional de-salting in both dry curing and wet brining is called "freshening", which can involve a soak in clean water or rinsing under running water for a minute or two, or both. I do this on my Nova lox and can dial-in the salt content consistently.
  9. I have tried Rytek's brine (many years ago when I was still wet brining fish), and thought it was very good... but now I'm a little biased toward my dry brining method.
  10. I'm on my second copy, the binding is not very good and before you know it pages begin to fall out, but as far as explaining technique, meat handling safety, use of curing salts and spices I think the book is a great resource. I've given several copies to friends. As far as the recipes, they are somewhat standard, but the same can be said for many other sausage books or online sources. I seem to make personal changes (like increasing garlic and black pepper) to most sausage recipes plus I sample a pattie to access the seasonings and will adjust if needed. I do think the amount of added fat is a little heavy handed for me, I find ground pork butt to perfect for me. I prefer to make my own seasoning mix, and use very fresh spices... We order 3 times a year from spice companies to keep everything fresh, I only buy spices from the grocery store in an emergency, there is no guarantee of their freshness.
  11. I like minced onion for added flavor and moisture, maybe a splash of beer instead of water, a couple shakes of Wooster (or some Wooster powder) and a handfull of hi-temp cheese. Adding some ground pork or sausage to the ground beef is an option if we have some in the fridge. Ironically this is the same way I approach meatloaf, and I do it indirect on my smoker but add some bacon on top. If I want a Mexican profile I'll mix chorizo and beef together and might add some minced jalapenos and use Mexican spices.
  12. My granny would fricassee them. Cut-up, season, braise in stock, remove, then add flour and butter to thicken the stock, season to taste, and return the pieces for a few minutes. If we had a few quail or dove she would add them in as well. HERE is a really good looking rabbit fricassee with mushrooms, wine and herbs served over pasta. Would like to try this with chicken drumsticks or wings.
  13. Well, yes and no. When the distillery opened they hired Steve Nally of Makers Mark fame and all of the ingredients come from the local area. The facility is cool, the bottle and label are cool... it had everything going for it. But for some reason the partners decided on releasing it earlier than planned, and about this time Nally (who the story claims did not agree with this decision) parted ways with them. Because of promotion there was a lot of interest and advanced sales and some dealers were limited to a case or two. But it really bombed hard, and some batches (the bottles show batch numbers) were way worse than others. It didn't turn out like they planned it would and after a while most of the sales were to tourists. On the bright side, after a few years WW admitted they had a problem and began blending batches (and likely made other changes as well), and even had representatives travel the state giving free samples of the "new" WW. It has improved slightly, but many folks still have the bad taste in their mouth. A dealer I know told me the liquor commission in Cheyenne (all sales go through them) has something like 500 cases in the warehouse and it's a slow mover. I actually ordered a case so I could give it out to customers, as luck would have it the bar I ordered through only got 2 cases on that first order, so all of the pre-order people just got a couple of bottles, and they kept a few back for stocking the bar. For a couple of days patrons were sampling it at the bar and it began to get the thumbs down. I actually cancelled my order for the remaining case. I did make it halfway through one bottle, but wound up tossing the rest. I kept the unopened one just because it might be worth something in 20 or 30 years. Yep nice color alright. The flavor is slightly sweet with a hint of oak, vanilla and kerosene, and it has a burn. The first glass is sort of deceiving and after the second the flavor becomes unpleasant. Most believe it's just too young and needed the full aging.
  14. I used to sip cognac with a beer and I didn't even get in to whiskeys or bourbons until 8 or 10 years ago, so as a novice I started with the Canadian blends like Crown, Tangle Ridge and Pendleton and I'm more of a sipper using the old fashioned glasses. I can't give recommendations on any of the really good brands, but if you ever see some of this... run screaming from the bar.
  15. Catfish is right up there with walleye, perch, trout, steelhead, salmon, flounder, grouper.....