Grilla Gorilla or GGX Vegan Cashew Cheeze

If you’re one of those people who hates nut cheese, Imma sorry for you! This velvety, creamy, tangy stuff is heaven. I smeared it on mediocre slab of pizza last night, and it made the pizza light up like a Christmas tree! Ta-da! I eat it on steamed veggies, eggs, pasta, whatever. Try the nutritional yeast on popcorn with GG or GGX.

 In the Ninja

In the Ninja

 On steamed broccoli

On steamed broccoli

Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2-3 tsp Grilla Gorilla or GGX to taste
1-1.5 tsp Dijon mustard to taste
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or Ninja with the yeast and spices on top. Fire the machine up and process until smooth.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Gently reheat over very low heat. Yields 2 cups (eight 1/4-cup servings).

Microwave Toffee Popcorn with Coco Corazón

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INGREDIENTS
12 cups of popcorn
1/2 cup Coco Corazón
You can also use Iowa Nice Spice or Cha-cha Lima, but if you’re using Cha-cha, add 2 more tbsp
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
Smoke Licker Crop Duster work great. If you’re popcorn is already salted, eliminate this salt.
Add roasted nuts like peanuts, cashews or pecans or chocolate chips!

INSTRUCTIONS
Split the popcorn into two large bowls.

Combine Coco Corazón, butter, and corn syrup in a large microwavable bowl. Give it lots of headroom, because the stuff is going to bubble up.

Microwave for one minute, remove, stir in the butter to melt. If it’s not melted, microwave for another 30 seconds. Then microwave for 1.5 minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave for another 1.5 to 2 minutes—until the toffee starts to bubble. Remove and stir in the baking soda. Stir-stir-stir to blend in.

Pour half of the toffee over the popcorn in each bowl and stir-stir-stir to blend in. I use two spatulas. It feels like I’m conducting a chocolate orchestra.

Spread the popcorn out on wax paper to cool. If you let it cool in the bowls, it will be a big rock.

Dusted Pot Roast

Because winter!

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Adapted from Brett Anderson in The New York Times
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS
3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
Crop Duster
Feather Duster
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 small yellow potatoes cut in quarters
8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 head garlic, top cut off to expose cloves
¾ cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
1 ½ cups red wine
4 cups beef broth

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Season meat generously with Crop Duster. On the stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, or other heavy roasting pan with a lid, over medium-high heat. Sear the meat until a dark crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan. Melt the butter and add the whole head of garlic and vegetables, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the vegetables start to color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add bay leaves, rosemary and wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 tbsp Feather Duster. Taste for seasoning.

Return meat to the pot. Add broth, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Let roast sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Remove meat to a cutting board to slice. Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems. Squeeze any garlic cloves remaining in their skins into the stew and discard the skins. You could also remove the veggies and whisk in flour to the gravy to thicken it and return the veggies to the pot (I did that).

Serve slices of meat in shallow bowls along with the vegetables and a generous amount of cooking liquid ladled over top.

Compound Butter

Lisa at Photosynthesis in Ames turned us on to compound butter on Thanksgiving. She served it with Parker House rolls…seriously, I thought it was the best part of the meal. It turns out all salts AND sugars make great compound butters! Use them on baked goods, steak, veggies, toast, you name it!

 These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

INGREDIENTS
1 stick of butter
2 tsp of Saltlickers
Parchment or waxed paper if you’re want a log shape
Fresh herbs if you wish

Let the butter soften at room temp then stir in the spice (and herbs). Place the butter on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, roll into a log, and chill for at least two hours.

Mark Bittman's Speedy No Knead Bread

“You made bread?” my family will ask whenever I whip up a loaf of Bittman’s bread. This warm magic loaf turns dinner into a meal. I throw in 1 tbsp of Whassamatterhorn or Smoke Licker.

 They rip it apart like wolves.

They rip it apart like wolves.

From Mark Bittman in The New York Times

3 cups bread flour
1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast
1 tbsp Whassamatterhorn or Smoke Licker
Oil as needed

DIRECTIONS
Combine flour, yeast and Whassamatterhorn or Smoke Licker in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. Serve with Saltlickers’ compound butter!

Smoked Bangla-dash Butternut Squash

I love ALL squashes. Especially the fact that I can forget one I stashed under the sink, find it a month later, cook it, and it's delicious. You can't do that with meat, people!

 Before smoking

Before smoking

 After smoking

After smoking

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
1 Big-a$$ butternut squash
Olive oil
Bangla-dash
Crop Duster
Maple syrup (optional)
Pecan wood chips for smoking (any wood will do but pecan’s the bomb)

INSTRUCTIONS
Start your smoker at its highest temp.

Split the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place face down in a microwave safe dish with about one inch of water in the bottom. You may have to microwave each half separately if it is, indeed, a big a$$ squash. Microwave on high for about 14 minutes. You could also steam the squash in a steamer basket if you wanna go old school and skip the radiation (you hippy). When cool, scoop out the squash into a bowl and mix with a splash of olive oil, about 1 tbsp of Bangla-dash and 1 tsp of Crop Duster. Taste for spice. Splash some maple syrup in there if you’d like. Stuff the squash back into the empty shells. You could also sprinkle cheese (Manchego would be great) or breadcrumbs on top. Place the squash on the racks, shell down, and smoke with one pass of wood for about 30 minutes.

Iowa Nice Spice Ginger Lime Margaritas

Cooks’ Emporium was lovely enough to post this recipe is by Laura Doerr, whose fabulous food blog, Ways to My Heart, takes the cake!

Serving Size: Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
4oz. Tequila
2oz. Honey syrup* or simple syrup
1.5oz lime juice
6 Ginger slices
Fresh limes for garnish
Iowa Nice Spice for the rim

Instructions:

1. To make honey syrup, heat equal parts water and honey until honey dissolves. This will prevent the honey from sinking to the bottom of the cocktail.

2. In a glass, muddle the ginger slices into the honey or simple syrup. If you do not have a muddler, use a wooden spoon.

3. Fill a shaker with ice, add tequila, lime juice, and muddled ginger mixture. Shake vigorously until cold and combined.

4. Wet the rim of two cocktail glasses with lime. Pour some of the spice mixture into a flat dish. Dip the wet rimmed glasses into the spice mixture.

5. Fill rimmed glasses with ice and pour margaritas over the ice. Garnish with fresh limes and enjoy!

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

How much salt you put in depends on how salty the original mashed potatoes are. Most of our blends would work well. We used 1/2 tsp Cy Salt and 1/2 tsp Alliyum, but you could easily use 1/2 tbsp of each, if your potatoes are unsalted.

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INGREDIENTS
2 c leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp Cy Salt
1/2 tsp Alliyum
Butter, oil or shortening for frying

INSTRUCTIONS
Mix all the ingredients. Pancakes made from 1/4 of a cup of batter turn out best, we found. Heat fat in a big pan, fry both side on medium high heat. Dust with Alliyum. Reheat in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

WHAT’S THAT SAUCE?
Equal parts of our homemade horseradish and this salad, plus a big glob of mayo thrown in.


Spiced Nilla Wafer Cookies

This recipe works with Das Bigfoot, Bangla-dash or Roxy Taco. Bangla-dash wafers call for one more tsp of spice than Das Bigfoot or Roxy wafers. You can use regular-sized Nilla wafers, but we like the minis. Reduced fat Nilla wafers work great too—they’re harder and they absorb the oil and spice well. I first butter tried on these, but oil’s better!

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INGREDIENTS
1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
3 tsp Bangla-dash

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 300.

Spread the wafers on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the oil over them and toss with spice, 1/2 tsp at a time. Use your hands to make sure everything’s evenly distributed. Bake for 5 minutes. They will crisp when they cool.

Darrell's Microwave Smoke Licker Almond Brittle

Our friend Darrell is a master of crack-tastic snacks, and his brittle's the best thing ever. I even dipped some in gravy once!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup chopped smoked almonds 1 teaspoon Smoke Licker.
1 tsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Blend 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup corn syrup in a 8-cup, microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chopped smoked almonds and 3/4 teaspoon Smoke Licker. Cook another 3-3 1/2 min. Add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla. Cook 2 min. Stir in 1 tsp baking soda, stir and pour onto greased cookie sheet, spreading as thin as possible. Sprinkle Smoke Licker on top. Let cool and break it!

 #blamedarrell!

#blamedarrell!

Pumpkin Butter Cake with Iowa Nice Spice

This is one from our friend, Darrell, who cooks some seriously good stuff. #blamedarrell

 Oooey, gooey, wooey!

Oooey, gooey, wooey!

INGREDIENTS
1 box yellow cake mix
4 egg
1 cup butter, melted and halved
8oz. cream cheese
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Iowa Nice Spice + more for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

FOR THE CRUST
Combine the cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix and press unto parchment lined 9×13.

FOR THE FILLING
Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup butter and spices. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Dust with Iowa Nice Spice.

Roxy Taco Chili-ful Chili: Pork or Veg

Last weekend, we chili-ed our faces off, starting at the Stanhope Locker's first chili cook-off with pulled pork chili (left), then at Wheatsfield's Member Appreciation Day with roasted butternut sguash black bean chili (right, it's vegan!), served with Cy Salt Oyster crackers. Both batches had the same base, starting with 4 oz of dried chilis—leave the seeds in if you like heat—covered in 4 cups of boiling water and soaked for 1/2 hour. You can find dried chilis in the Mexican aisle of your grocery store. We used New Mexico chiles, but poblano, ancho or hatch would also work great and be fairly mild for heat. Both styles were delicious. Serves 12, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

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INGREDIENTS
4 oz dried chilies: New Mexico, poblano, ancho or hatch
stemmed, seeded and torn to pieces
4 cups boiling water
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp white vinegar
5 peeled garlic cloves
1 tbsp Roxy Taco*
1/2 tbsp Cy Salt or to taste*
1 tbsp olive oil
28 oz whole peeled tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of your fave chili beans:
    For the squash we used black beans,
    pintos for the pork

For pork chili: 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder

For squash chili: 5 lbs butternut squash
(about 3 medium or 2 large) peeled, seeded and cubed

For both: Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX

INSTRUCTIONS
For pork chili:
 Sprinkle your pork shoulder with Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX, wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to 24. Preheat the oven to 300. Brown the shoulder in olive oil in a big Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. Cook in the oven for about 4 hours--till it’s falling apart. Remove, let it cool, and chop it short. This was my mistake for the Stanhope chili: I left the strands of pork too long and ropey, like a pulled pork sandwich.

For squash chili: Preheat the oven to 425. Toss your squash with a splash of olive oil and sprinkle with Crop Duster spice, Grilla Gorilla, or GGX. Roast for about 45 minutes, tossing after about 30 minutes.

For the chili: Pour the boiling water over the chilies and soak for 30 minutes. Drain off half the soaking liquid and save. Place the chilies, honey, vinegar, garlic, Roxy and Cy in a food processor and blend till you have a smooth paste. 

Heat the oil on medium high in a big Dutch oven or heavy pot. Pour in the chile paste and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. If your chili’s looking dry, add some of the bean liquid, chile soaking liquid, or some dark Mexican beer.

Stir the meat or squash into the chili and cook on low for 1 hour, or in a crockpot on low for 4 hours. Taste for seasoning.

*My squash chili took twice as much spice as the meat version.

Serve with Cy Salt oyster crackers: 1 tbsp Cy Salt + 1/4 cup olive oil. Bake at 250 for 5 minutes.

Rachel's Third Place State Fair Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread and Spread*

For the Bread*
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup (75 grams) melted salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons Iowa Nice Spice
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed
bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the Iowa Nice Spice, egg, vanilla and
bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture
and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour mixture into a
buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester
comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
*Adapted from Deb Perelman

For the Spread
Makes 1 pint
½ cup butter
½ cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla, peanut butter, and honey. Stir until smooth.

Saltlickers note: Roxy Taco or Bangla-dash would be delicious in that spread.

 Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

Susan's Second Place State Fair Bacon Candy

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Ingredients:
Thick sliced meaty* double smoked bacon, cut in half**
Chopped pecans
Saltlickers Grilla Gorilla
Saltlickers Roxy Taco
Baker’s dipping chocolate - dark
*meatier bacon makes it less flimsy
**If bacon is long, cut in thirds for easier handling 

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Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a lipped baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and either place bacon on a rack or direction paper/foil to bake. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until a beautiful amber brown color. Remove from oven and place on paper towels to remove any excess bacon grease.  Allow to cool.

In a shallow sauté pan, use approximately 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to toast the chopped pecans until golden brown. Remove pecans to a bowl and add equal parts of Roxy Taco and Grilla Gorilla (heck - be bold and use GGX!) to taste and set aside.

Now it’s almost time to assemble the bacon candy! Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Heat the Baker’s dipping chocolate according to the directions. Do it SLOWLY so you don’t break the chocolate. 

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Dip each piece of bacon in the melted chocolate, leaving about a half inch uncovered where you can grab it. Use a spoon to make sure both sides are covered. Some people don’t like a lot of chocolate on theirs (weirdos) and others do - a matter of opinion. 

Place the coated bacon slice on the lined cookie sheet and while the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle it with the pecan mixture. Repeat until you run out.

Place cookie sheet in fridge or freezer to allow chocolate to set. Remove from cookie sheet and store in covered container in refrigerator.

Lisa's First Place State Fair Potato Salad

Frenchowa* Potato Salad**
Makes 4-6 servings

¾ pound small white boiling potatoes
¾ pound small red boiling potatoes
½ pound trimmed green beans
½ red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons chicken stock
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Crop Duster
2 teaspoons French Tickler
8 tablespoons lemon olive oil
1/4 cup minced chives
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until just cooked through. Blanch green beans for 3-4
minutes. When potatoes are still warm, but into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the wine,
chicken stock and Crop Duster. Make dressing by whisking together olive oil, vinegar
and mustard. Add to potatoes, beans, and onion. Toss with chives, parsley, and French
Tickler. Serve at room temperature, si’l vous please.

*Collin asked "Is 'Frenchowa' a real thing?" "No."

**Adapted from Ina Garten

 Not the real potato salad. Lisa's was much prettier, served in a heart-shaped bowl.

Not the real potato salad. Lisa's was much prettier, served in a heart-shaped bowl.

EZ Eight Layer Dip

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Heat oven to 425. Blast a 9 X 12" baking pan with cooking spray. Dump in two cans of refried beans and mush down evenly. Top with 2 lbs cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, chorizo, tofu, whatever you want—seasoned with 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Pour a jar of salsa over that. Sprinkle two little cans of chopped olives or pickled jalapeños over the salsa. Cover with shredded cheese—whatever kind you want. Bake till molten: about 25-35 min. Remove and top with a thick smear of guacamolé, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and minced scallions. Shovel it in your face with chips/your hands.

Benedictine Alliyum Sammies

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Benedictine is a traditional crustless cream cheese cucumber sandwich served on Derby Day. They actually use green food coloring, but we used Alliyum to give this crustless white bread wonder serious pizzaz.

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, grated, drained for about 1/2 hour
8 oz. cream cheese, soft
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
8 slices white bread, crusts removed
3 red leaf lettuce leaves
1.5 tsp Alliyum or to taste

Peel and grate the cucumber into a strainer. In the bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Alliyum. Spread about 1/4" of goop onto each slice, spreading just almost to the edges of the bread. Top with lettuce. Sandwichify. Cut diagonally into four triangles.

Roxy-cado Hot Browns

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Hot browns are Kentucky staples: turkey and cheese sauce atop toast. Ada the Lexingtonite suggested topping them Roxy Taco and avocado, and I was like [ten million high fives]. Adapted from the Brown Hotel's recipe.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
4 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed)
4 slices of bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 rip avocado sliced
Parsley
Roxy taco

Melt butter and slowly whisk in flour to form a thick paste or roux. Cook roux for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino-Romano cheese until the sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 oz. turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato, two toast points, and 1/4 of the avocado slices and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Pour half of the sauce over the dish, completely covering it. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove and cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top. Sprinkle with Roxy Taco and parsley and serve.

Orange caramel bacon popcorn

I invented this for a tasting at Wheatsfield. I used Roxy Taco, but you could try Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Smoke Licker, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon. The orange juice brings out the zing in the spice, but you can do without it. You can also cook it in a smoker for an hour instead of the oven if you're cray-cray like me.

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20 cups unsalted corn
1 lb bacon, fried to just about crispy, drained and chopped
      (I cooked mine between paper towels in the microwave for 6 minutes)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup or 1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp Saltlickers seasoning: Roxy Taco, Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon
1⁄2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven or smoker to 250º. Melt butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup, orange juice and salt. Stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Stir in the bacon.

Put the popcorn into a giant bowl and pour the caramel over it. Mix well. It's hard. You may feel like your arm is going to fall off. Divide the popcorn between two slightly oiled cookie sheets and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Break the slabs into an air-tight container and refrigerate.