Watermelon Aqua Fresca

Hydrate like a champion! Adults can mix with booze, esp tequila or vodka. When I made it at Sarah’s house with her fancy French juicer, it overflowed and pink sticky juice went everywhere! But this drink is so good, she was cool with it!

INGREDIENTS

8 cups watermelon juice (a medium sized watermelon ought to do it) strained through a sieve
2 cups water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp Smoke Licker or 2 tbsp Cha-cha Lima or both!

DIRECTIONS
Mix all the stuff in a big pitcher and enjoy!

Sarah’s NOT mad that I spilled sticky watermelon juice everywhere! Yay!

Sarah’s NOT mad that I spilled sticky watermelon juice everywhere! Yay!

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!

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!

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.