Smothered Pork Chops, Traeger Recipes: August 2018

GRILLED SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS:

  • 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1/4 CUP CORNMEAL
  • 2 TSP KOSHER SALT
  • 1 1/2 TSP GROUND PEPPER
  • 1/2 CUP WHOLE MILK
  • 1 LARGE YOLK
  • 1 1/2 CUPS PEANUT OR CANOLA OIL
  • 4 BONE-IN CENTER-CUT PORK LOIN CHOPS

GRAVY:

  • 1 1/2 CUPS DICED YELLOW ONION
  • 4 TSP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1 1/3 CUPS CHICKEN BROTH
  • 2/3 CUP WHOLE MILK OR HALF & HALF

Instructions

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 250 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Place mixture on a plate.

In a medium-sized bowl, add milk and egg yolk. Whisk to combine.

Pour oil into a cast iron pan on the stove, and heat up oil to 375 degrees F, on a frying thermometer. Turn heat down to medium-high.

Submerge pork chops in the bowl with eggs and milk, then press it down into the plate of the flour mixture, flip and repeat on the other side. Shake any excess flour off.

Slide pork chops into the hot oil. Fry until perfectly golden brown on both sides. About 2 minutes per side.

Transfer pork chops to a cooking tray, and let it finish cooking in the grill. Chops should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

To make the gravy: Pour out all the oil from the cast iron but 1 Tbsp. Add onion to the cast iron pan and cook stirring, until translucent, but not browned, about 4 minutes. Scatter flour in the pan and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until the flour is distributed evenly throughout the onion and is toasted.

Add broth and milk, and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring until the gravy has reached the desired thickness, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove chops from grill and arrange them on a serving platter. Smother them with the gravy and serve. Enjoy!

Shop M Kay Supply Grills HERE.

 

Grills, L. T. (n.d.). Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/pork/smothered-pork-chops
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Home Canning Tips and How-To’s: August 2018

If you’ve ever delved into the world of home canning, you probably know how much information is out there: recipes, tips, how-tos, what to avoid. While it’s not an overly complicated process, it’s important to do it right. So whether you’re a newbie to canning or have done it a few times already, read on for some canning basics and tips to keep in mind.

If you fit into the newbie category, you may be wondering exactly what canning is. Canning is a method of preparing food by applying heat to it in a closed glass jar. This process removes all air from the jar to create a seal which eliminates any bacteria, mold or microorganisms that could cause natural spoilage.

Canning first developed as a method for preserving food during the late 1700s – Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops needed sustenance over the long months at battle, and this process became their go-to method. However, it wasn’t until around the 1950s, when the Mason jar was invented, that canning gained popularity in the U.S. The Mason jar was the first reusable jar with a screw-on lid and made it easy for the masses to give canning a go.

Later on, as full-service grocery stores became the norm, canning dropped off – but these days, it’s making a comeback as people are more interested in what’s actually in the food they’re eating and the safety of it.

Canning 101

And now for some specifics. Simply put, the steps to canning are as follows:

1) Fill a clean jar with the food you’ve prepared.

2) Apply the flat lid and threaded ring to the jar.

3) Submerge the jar in boiling water for the prescribed amount of time (the amount of time depends on what you’re canning – the recipe you use will specify – and the time will start as soon as the water is boiling again).

4) Remove jar from boiling water to cool.

When you remove the jar from the boiling water, the heat escapes, bringing any remaining air inside the jar with it. As the oxygen escapes, an air-tight seal is created. This air-tight seal is critical in keeping your food safe for consumption.

2 Methods Of Canning

Within the world of canning, there are two commonly practiced methods, depending on what food you’re working with:

  • Water bath canning – a shorter, lower-temperature canning process best for high-acid foods like fruits, salsas, pickles; these jars can go right to boiling to kill anything that might spoil your food.
  • Pressure canning – a longer, higher-temperature canning process best for low acid foods such as meats, stews, vegetables; this involves the use of a pressure canner rather than a cooker because pressure canners can reach the 240° necessary to kill everything that might spoil your product.

With either method, when done properly, your food will keep for up to about one year.

One word of warning – you may find information out there about the open kettle method. This method is dangerous and should not be followed as it does not call for processing. Now, perhaps the open kettle method worked for your grandmother, but the temperatures don’t get high enough to destroy all food poisoning organisms, so it’s widely recommended to avoid this method entirely.

Home Canning Supplies You’ll Need

Tongs

A wide-mouth funnel

A wide range of measuring cups

Jars with flat lids and threaded rings, ideally Standard Mason or Ball jars

A jar lifter like this one or this one

A large, wide pot/canner (such as a Dutch oven or deep stockpot) like this one or this one

And for any other supplies that might come in handy, check out our canning supplies page.

General Tips For Canning

  • Always use fresh ingredients that aren’t overripe as well as a recipe from a reliable source (and follow that recipe as closely as possible rather than adding extra spices, butter or extra quantities of any ingredients).
  • Thoroughly clean your lids and jars before filling them with your product; to do this, the jars can be placed in your pot of water and brought to a boil and your lids can be placed in a saucepan with water that’s brought to a simmer.
  • As you’re filling your jars with the product, leave some space between the top of the food and the top of the jar (the recipe should specify how much space).
  • Wipe down the rims of each jar with a clean, damp paper towel or dish rag.
  • Once your jars are in the cooling stage, you should hear pings from the air-tight seals being formed; the lids should also become concave in the center, which means a vacuum seal has formed – if this doesn’t happen, treat those jars as fresh: Pop them in the refrigerator and eat them soon.
  • Avoid reusing the flat lids and also don’t use lids from commercially canned foods – although it’s okay to reuse the screw bands, as long as they’re still in good condition.
  • At altitudes over 1,000 feet, you’ll want to increase water submerging times.

This can all sound complicated, but it’s really not too bad once you give it a try. And the result: your very own self-canned foods for the coming months, for you and perhaps your friends and family, too. Enjoy!

Shop all our canning and preserving goods here.

Union, P. F. (1970, January 01). Tips And How-Tos For Home Canning. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from http://blog.parisfarmersunion.com/2016/08/

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites, Traeger Recipes: July 2018

Ingredients

  • 1 HEAD CAULIFLOWER, CUT INTO FLORETS
  • 2 TBSP OLIVE OIL
  • 1 TSP KOSHER SALT
  • 2 TBSP CHOLULA HOT SAUCE
  • 1 TBSP SRIRACHA
  • 1/2 TSP LEMON JUICE
  • 1 TBSP MELTED BUTTER
  • 1 CUP RANCH DRESSING
  • 1/4 CUP SOUR CREAM
  • 1 TBSP HEAVY CREAM
  • SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE

Instructions

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat lid closed, 10-15 minutes.

Toss cauliflower florets with salt and olive oil and spread onto a sheet tray. Plate directly on the grill grate and cook 25-35 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.

While cauliflower is cooking combine Cholula, Sriracha, lemon juice and melted butter. Mix well.

Remove cauliflower from the grill and toss with hot sauce mixture. Spread back on the baking sheet and place back on the grill for another 5 minutes.

In another bowl, combine the ranch, sour cream, heavy cream and salt and pepper. Serve with the cauliflower. Enjoy!

Use Hardwood Apple Pellets for the best taste!

Shop M Kay Supply, LLC Grills here!

M Kay Supply, LLC has a wide range of grills and smokers for everyone. Our staff is well trained in educating the customers on each of the different types of grills we have. Be sure to shop our grills and their accessories in-store or online!

Grills, L. T. (n.d.). Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from https://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/vegetables/buffalo-cauliflower-bites

Keeping a Beautiful Garden and Conserving Water: July 2018

We know it’s hot out there – and we’re not the only ones feeling a bit dehydrated. Our gardens feel the heat too, and sometimes need some extra TLC to make it through the hot and humid weather Missouri has. It’s still important, though, to minimize water usage, which brings us to a crossroads: Use more water to save your cherished garden or conserve and hope the plants make it til September with little water? With the garden watering tips below, hopefully, you won’t have to choose.

There is a wide range of measures you can take to ensure your garden survives – and thrives – through the summer without using up the water supply. So read on and tackle your garden with a new confidence, even through triple-digit temperatures.

1) Save and reuse water whenever possible for watering outdoor plants! There are a number of ways to do this:

  1.    Install a water tank to collect rainwater.
  2.   Save the water you use to cook instead of pouring it down the sink (bonus – the nutrients from your food will act as fertilizer for your plants); just make sure it’s cooled off before watering.
  3.    Save the old water from your fish tank.

2) Use mulch! This will keep the soil moist as well as prevent water-sucking weeds from growing – and will also add nutrients to your garden.

3) If you use a hose, invest in a soaker hose like the ones here. Soaker hoses are made of a porous material through which water seeps along the entire length of the hose. Water leaks out from the hose at a rate that the ground can absorb, so there’s no excess runoff, meaning more efficient watering of your plants. What’s more, since water is released so close to the ground, less of it evaporates, and instead, it goes directly to the roots of your plants.

4) While we’re on the subject of hoses, you may also want to check out a drip irrigation hose, another great option for efficient watering. These are similar to soaker hoses but are made of flexible plastic tubing that water slowly drips out of. They’re better for using on sloped surfaces, so if you’ve got an uneven yard, you can check out some of these hoses at M Kay Supply here and here.

5) If you’re starting out with your garden (or are willing to do some rearranging), consider creating garden zones based on which areas are naturally sunny or shady, or receive more or less water runoff. Grouping plants together by their specific needs means you won’t have to water your entire yard every time but can water by area instead.

6) For those who are looking into purchasing new plants, try to find varieties that require less water. This includes slow-growing plants or plants with small or narrow leaves. Also, plants that are native to your region will be better adapted to the climate, which can often mean lower water requirements.

7) Plant tall plants or garden structures in your yard to provide some shade if you don’t already have it. Plants that live in shaded areas need less water.

8) Invest in a moisture meter! These small, inexpensive devices will provide quick data on how moist or dry your garden’s soil is. You can find several moisture meter options here.

9) Time your watering. For gardens, morning is best. This will give your plants plenty of water to get through hot days and will reduce the amount of water that evaporates since winds are usually lighter in the morning. For potted plants, watering in the afternoons has been found to lead to the healthiest plant growth. Watering in the evening works too, although it’s less likely that the water will evaporate from the leaves of your plants, which could lead to fungal growth.

10) For potted plants, consider the material of the pot. Porous pots (like clay) will draw more moisture from the soil, so you’ll have to do more watering.

It’s important to keep in mind that, to a certain extent, plants will adapt to the water they receive. Of course, they will need a minimal amount to remain healthy, but watering them more than necessary means plants will get used to living off that amount of water. However, that doesn’t mean that they need it.

Maintaining a healthy garden is an art, and it’ll require a certain extent of trial and error as you learn about the plants growing there and the specific conditions of your garden. Following these tips will help – but every garden is different. Experiment a little on your own and see what works best for saving water in the garden!

Union, P. F. (1970, January 01). Maintaining A Beautiful Garden While Conserving Water. Retrieved March 01, 2018, from http://blog.parisfarmersunion.com/2016/07/