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.

The Best Herky Perky Glazed Meatloaf

This recipe is from our amazing friend, illustrator, artist and cook extraordinaire, Deborah Stein.

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We were so happy to use mainly local Iowa grown and made ingredients for this one from Story City Meatlocker meat to Saltlickers salt to homegrown sage and onions. Even the Apple Cide was from the Community Orchards in Fort Dodge. I turned my loaves into TV Dinners so my father in law up in Humboldt could pop one out of the freezer and into the microwave on football day!

Makes one big loaf or two or three mini-loaves.

1 lb ground Meat (or Turkey!)  
2 or so tsp Herky Perky (to taste)
1 tsp chopped dried sage or 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
1 egg
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider
Black pepper

Herky La Perky Glaze
1/4 c Apple cider
1/3 c ketchup (or more to thicken)
A few shprinks of Herky Perky

Preheat oven to 375F. Gently mix until combined, try not to overwork to keep your loaf tender. Form into one big loaf or two or three mini loaves and put in a lightly oiled baking dish. to make the glaze, mix ingredients and add more ketchup if necessary to thicken. Spoon glaze onto the loaf/loaves which will keep it moist and add an awesome sweet-savory deliciousness to your loaf. Pop into a 375F oven for about 30-35 min. SOOOO Good with Smoke Licker and butter mashed patooties.

 

Smoked Pretzels

12 oz unsalted pretzels (I used Snyder's)
Olive oil
Any Saltlickers salt
(I used Grilla Gorilla and Das Bigfoot)
Foil trays that will fit in your smoker
Wood chips of your choice

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Heat your smoker to 250. Poke lots of small holes in the bottom of the trays. I used a corn cob holder. The ratios of olive oil to salt were different for each flavor. For Grilla Gorilla, I used 1/2 c olive oil + 5 tbsp spice. For Das Bigfoot, I used 1/3 cup olive oil and 4 tbsp spice. If you like light salt, start with 1/2 the salt I used, taste the pretzel before you smoke, and add more salt to taste. Stir the pretzels into the oil mix until they're covered. Scoop the pretzels into the foil trays (don't pack the trays tight—you want space for the smoke to do its thing) and load the wood. I used apple for both. Smoke for 15 minutes. You can also bake these in a 250 degree oven.

Smoked Toffee Popcorn

I was going to make toffee popcorn anyway, but then I thought, "Toffee popcorn bakes at 250 for 1 hour. That's perfect for the smoker!" Well, it melted people's faces off in a good way. The Cha-cha Lima popcorn was the best thing I've ever tasted, but some liked the Iowa Nice Spice better. I didn't try Coco Corazón yet.

 Cha-cha

Cha-cha


10-20 cups of popcorn*
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup Cha-cha Lima or Iowa Nice Spice 
(that's 1/2 lb—it's on the website for $10)
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt or Smoke Licker
1/4 tsp baking soda
Foil trays that will fit in your smoker
Wood chips of your choice

Heat smoker to 250. Poke several small holes in the bottom of the trays. I used a corn cob holder. Put popcorn in a big bowl. *The original recipe called for 10 cups, but I stretched one batch to 16 cups, and another to 20 cups. There was plenty of flavor, and the popcorn was well-covered on both batches. So for smothered super-candy popcorn, use 10 cups. If a lighter glaze is OK, this recipe stretches to 20 cups. Melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup & salt together, stirring constantly, until it bubbles when you stop stirring. Stir in baking soda. Pour over the popcorn and stir until everything's covered. Scoop popcorn into the foil trays (don't pack the trays—you want space for the smoke to do its thing) and load the wood. I used apple wood for the Iowa Nice, and cherry for Cha-cha—though I wish I'd had mesquite. Smoke 1/2 hour. Take the trays out and toss/break up the popcorn, and return to the smoker for 1/2 hour. I only did one pass of smoke, but if you like it super smokey, go nuts and give it another blast after 1/2 hour.

Tara's Butternut Squash Risotto

One of our oldest customers and super-friend, Tara, is a fabulous cook. She brought this dish to Thanksgiving and left a bunch which I enjoyed all week, over the sink, straight out of the tupperware, because that was the fastest way to get in mah face.

I tested it for Wheatsfield's Member Appreciation Day, and it went over like gangbusters. "You're a magic lady!" an appreciated customers said. BONE DRY white wine is the key here. I used Alliyum instead of Feather Duster, and these measurements on the spices, parm and half & half. It was amazing.

1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder (I used Alliyum again)
1/2 tsp cayenne (I used an entire tsp and it was too hot for many folks)
1/4 cup half & half
6 oz parm in the squash, 2 oz on top

I folded the butternut squash mix into the risotto. Tara may have layered hers. I can't remember. I was food blinded.

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 Here are Tara's recipe cards.

Here are Tara's recipe cards.

Go nuts with your DOUGHNUTS!

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times
PREP TIME: 2 hours
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2.25 hours

 Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy

Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, plus more for the bowl
  • Some good flavors to try: Iowa Nice, Cha-cha Lima, Alliyum, Das Bigfoot, Cy
  1. Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
     
  2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
     
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass (the larger one should be about 3 inches in diameter), flouring the cutters as you go. Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
     
  4. Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
     
  5. About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
     
  6. Add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Doughnut holes cook faster. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and sprinkle with your favorite Saltlickers spices. Serve immediately.

Cardinal Red Sauce

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Cy Salt makes the perfect red sauce for pasta, meatballs, pizza, whatever. 
Saute 1 onion and two cloves of garlic.
Add 1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes + 1 tbsp Cy Salt + a splash of red wine.
Simmer 30 minutes. 

Chicken in Green Molé

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INGREDIENTS
1 whole (both sides) chicken breast
1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
2 onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeños
6 lettuce leaves
10 sprigs of cilantro
1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice Spice
1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón
1 tbsp Roxy Taco
Salt to taste
Lime wedges

INSTRUCTIONS
Cover the chicken breast in water in a pot. Add 1/2 the onion. Bring to a boil and simmer 12 minutes. Let cool. Roast the pumpkin seeds in a pan on the stove until they start to pop. Let cool and move into a food processor bowl, along with the rest of the onion, garlic, cilantro, lettuce, jalapeños, and spices. Pulse. Add 1 cup of the cooled chicken stock, blend, taste for salt, then pour into a pot. Shred the chicken and add it to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh lime before serving over rice or roasted sweet potatoes, or in tacos or enchiladas.

Das Schöne Fleischloaf

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Translation: The beautiful meatloaf

Add 2 tsp to 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb ground pork. Stir in 1 cup toasted pumpernickel bread crumbs, 2 leeks caramelized in butter, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 2 tsp Whassamatterhorn, and 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper. Slather it in ketchup if you like it old school. Bake 375 til unraw—about an hour.