Simple Homemade Flour Tortillas (Recipe!)

Homemade flour tortillas

As a big fan of soft tortillas, I had to give these a shot.

Ingredients
— 4 cups of all-purpose flour
— 6 tablespoons of lard (or vegetable shortening if you are opposed to lard for whatever reason)
— 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (I used kosher salt)
— 2 teaspoons of baking powder
— 1 1/2 cups of hot water

Tools needed
— Board of some kind, as in a big cutting board or a rolling board, dusted with a smidgen of flour
— Rolling pin dusted with a smidgen of flour
— If you have a tortilla press, use it! I didn’t, as I don’t have one, but it’s on my personal wishlist.

Recipe
— Start with your dry ingredients: whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
— Add in the lard and use your hand to mix together
— Use your other hand to pour in some of the hot water, mixing it along the way
— Knead it! It took me about 25 minutes of kneading before it finally came together and formed a nice supple ball. No idea why it took so long. I watched a video where it only took the person making tortillas around ten minutes of kneading. Then again, I’m a newbie at making homemade flour tortillas, so maybe I’ll get better in due time.
— Separate into little balls. I made around 24-26 of them.
— Let rest for 10 minutes under a damp paper towel
— Add the dough balls to your board and start rolling them thin, rotating them 90 degrees after every roll.
— Heat up a skillet (I used a Lodge cast iron skillet) to medium to medium-high heat
— Cook your tortillas one by one. Takes about a minute or so on each side. You know it’s ready to flip when they start bubbling, and after the flip you can check the bottom side to see if it is golden brown

Enjoy with whatever you want. They are delicious even with some Kerrygold butter spread onto them fresh out of the skillet!

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Lamb Chops on the Barrel House Cooker (Recipe!)

Freshly smoked lamb chops right out of the Barrel House Cooker 14D.

I never tried lamb until last April. I’m from rural southwest Virginia, and it just isn’t very popular here! This is an agricultural haven in the United States, yet beef and pork reign supreme, and lamb? Good luck finding it unless you find a small business to buy from (shout out to Victoria and Brandon Gent from Appalachian Meats in Lebanon, VA for selling lamb!)

You just need three things
— Lamb chops
The Killer Cook Mediterranean Spice Blend seasoning
— A smoker (I used my Barrel House Cooker 14D)

Instructions
— Optional: I sprayed the lamb chops with duck fat spray as a binder before applying the Mediterranean Spice rub.
— You can use charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal; I’ve used both when smoking lamb. For this cook, I just used trusty ol’ Kingsford blue along with a small chunk of cherrywood.
— Fire up the charcoal in a chimney starter (if you don’t have one, I recommend that you purchase one).
— After 20-25 minutes, once the charcoal has turned white hot at the top, dump into the charcoal base of your smoker (if you are using a grill, just cook on indirect heat)
— Allow 15-20 minutes for your smoker to heat up.
— I just had the intake vents on the Barrel House Cooker barely cracked open, although you can leave ’em wide open if you’d like.
— Add the lamb chops to the smoker

This only takes me 25-30 minutes for medium rare lamb. That’s it. Nothing fancy. Just remove, let the meat rest about five minutes and dig in!

The Mediterranean Spice Blend seasoning by The Killer Cook is so good because it is a perfect pairing with lamb. It is a match made in heaven. Of course, I guess that is an obvious statement given the name of the seasoning, but still. You can tell me I’m narrow minded, but it is the only seasoning I trust in using when it comes to lamb because it works so perfectly well with it.

If you can’t get ahold of The Killer Cook’s Mediterranean Spice Blend seasoning for lamb, I highly recommend you try this combo:

— Kosher salt
— Black pepper
— Garlic powder
— Dried rosemary
— Dried oregano
— A dash of paprika

The Mediterranean Spice Blend I keep bragging about features mint, too, so if you can get your hands on some dried mint, add a little bit of it to your lamb seasoning mix.

A Cilantro Lover’s Pico de Gallo Recipe

Fresh pico de gallo

First of all, this is not my recipe. I got it from Danniella (@kitchen_slayd on Instagram), which I then have to thank Jeremy from @jbluebbq for referencing her recipe, because he posted about it.

Recipe
— 8 Roma tomatoes, diced up
— 2 medium white onions, minced up
— 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
— 4 serrano peppers (use less for less heat, if you’d like)
— Juice from 4 limes
2 whole bunches of cilantro
— Salt to taste


Instructions
— Rinse cilantro and pat dry
— Dice those Roma tomatoes up and add to a bowl or some kind of dish to hold the pico de gallo
— Quarter the onions and add to a food chopper; pulse until finely minced.
— Chop up your cilantro! You can do it finely so, but I had big chunks in mine because I love it and don’t mind them being larger.
— Dice up the serrano peppers, removing the seeds.
— Crush and mince up the three cloves of garlic
— Once everything is added to the bowl or dish you are making the pico de gallo in, cut four limes in half and use a citrus squeezer to extract the juices into the dish.
— Mix well
— Add salt to taste; I used sea salt.

It’s an excellent, simple recipe with a ton of flavor. I call it the cilantro lover’s pico de gallo due to the two bunches of cilantro that was used. If you love cilantro, you’ll love it, but on the other hand, if you detest cilantro, you are going to have a bad time.

Serrano peppers freshly picked from my little garden!

This recipe gave me an excuse to use four of the serrano peppers that I grew in my little garden, where I’m using an old 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain lid as a pot.

Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think!

Frauds in the Barbecue Community on Instagram

Last year, when I posting like a madman on Instagram, slanging and hanging meats in the Barrel House Cooker all spring and summer long in the middle of taking classes for the degree that I finished up back in December, I was approached by one of my closest friends in the barbecue community over on the ‘gram. Ron. Captain Ron! (@cptnron302) He asked me if I would like to join his private messaging group where each member of the said group would send their posts to the group chat and each member involved would click like and leave a comment. The reason behind this idea is that the likes and comments would boost the posts and allow them to be seen.

The Instagram algorithm is a little shaky, because people with a small following may have posts that won’t show up on someone’s feed due to a low number of likes and comments. Being involved in this group would yield a higher chance of one’s posts being seen, introducing more likes, comments and ensuing followers.

It worked. My posts started receiving traffic they never had before.

The problem? I have genuine love for Ron and a few others in the group for being authentic, down to earth people with a knack for outdoor cooking, but there are two members of that particular group who didn’t care to follow the unofficial ‘rules’ of the chat, because they wouldn’t like or comment on everyone in the group’s posts. I won’t name any names, but this was frustrating to me. I considered sending Ron a one-on-one message to discuss this discrepancy I felt, but I figured there’s no use. I was involved in the group not only to help myself but to help the others, especially Ron, because he’s a nice, generous guy who will not hesitate to like and comment on your posts, and he throws down some seriously good lookin’, delicious grub. There were others in this group that I held (hold) in the same regard as Ron for similar reasons. The two other members who are the antithesis of everything that little group stands for? They are the plague of the community, in my mind.

Why post in the barbecue community on Instagram? “I want to make a name for myself.” Some people just want to post photos of their gorgeous, mouthwatering food every couple of weeks, but by and large, most people who are posting want to create a social presence with their posts and make a name for themselves, attracting advertisers and companies who¬†may hire them to become social influencers or brand ambassadors. I would be blatantly lying if I told you I did not have such intentions. I have culinary-related business goals. I want to turn Grizzly BBQ into a full-blown business, but I also want to genuinely network, reciprocate any love I receive and add value to people’s lives if I can help it.

Far too many people are out there who are feeders rather than givers. They’ll feed on the likes and comments they receive, but they pick and choose who they give their likes and comments to, and I resent that greatly. I can’t help but roll my eyes when I see the two aforementioned members from the above paragraph go and like/comment on one of the bigger accounts in the barbecue community. They’ll slobber all over the big names who have 10,000+ followers, yet they’ll scroll on past other accounts with a smaller amount of followers. I know this happens because the proof is in the pudding. You’ll see them out there posting comments on every big name account’s posts as they pass yours by. It is difficult to not feel a varying level resentment over that kind of crap.

I don’t have a big account; I have less than a thousand followers, but I do have a passion for what I do (outdoor cooking), I enjoy sharing my photos with the world and wield an extreme appreciation and high level of gratitude for every like and comment that I receive.

I just find it annoying when these selfish individuals come out of the woodwork for their own personal gain. It would be beautiful if we (we as in the barbecue community as a whole) gave back to one another, working together to selflessly promote one another and harnessed that in the community. I have so much love and respect for some of the big name members of the barbecue community who like and comment on my posts, because they don’t have to. They have no reason to. There’s no gain for them to like and comment on my posts other than to create and sustain a real, genuine connection and relationship by the means of networking, but they do it anyway. It only takes a few seconds to like and comment on someone’s posts. Why can’t these obviously selfish members that I speak negatively of do it?

I felt this post was necessary to write because it is an overwhelming pet peeve of mine.

The barbecue community is incredible, as a whole. There are so many awesome people with a veritable love for delicious food who want to share it and support others. I have a great deal of love for each of those people. For such reasons, I want to give a big shoutout to some great members of the Instagram BBQ community who selflessly dish out love via likes and genuine comments:

Kurt — @caribeque
Chuck — @c_train707
John — @bigjohns_bbq
Ron — @cptnron302
Jimmy — @borderbangerbbq
Jeff (we might be related since we have the same last name! Haha) — @backwoods_kitchen
Matt — @bluetravelz
Adam — @thisjewcanque
Justin — @utetastic
Robert — @moons_bbq
Pam — @pam_persinger_walker
@zzzzote
Wes — @sunnysidebeachesbbq
Ralph — @revin_it_up_bbq

There are so many more…

Extra Spicy’n’Cheesy Habanero’n’Jalapeno Chorizo Quesadilla (Recipe!)

4-cheese habanero, jalapeno’n’onion chorizo quesadilla on the 17″ Tabletop Blackstone Griddle.

This is not for the faint of heart. I’m a lite chilihead and was craving some extra flavorful with a powerful pepper punch. I’m a big fan of chorizo. I first had it many years ago at a local Mexican restaurant where they include it in their fajitas that I’m a big fan of.

Recipe/Instructions
— Two flour tortillas
— I used a food chopper to finely chop up three habanero peppers, one jalapeno pepper and one small yellow onion
Great Value Fiesta Blend cheese (shredded monterey jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla and asadero cheese) from Wal-Mart
— Two rolls of Ole Mexican Foods chorizo.

Posting this stock photo just to give you an idea of the ‘rolls’ of chorizo from Ole Mexican Foods.

— You can use a skillet pan for this, but I used my 17″ Tabletop Blackstone Griddle for this cook.
— After pre-heating the griddle to high heat, I added my chorizo to the flat top surface and began mashing it up with a spatula.
— Since chorizo doesn’t take too long to cook in this manner, a few minutes later after plenty of stirring the chorizo around, I added my mixture of the habaneros, the jalapeno and the onion to the mix to stir in.
— After the peppers and the onion cooked for a few minutes in the chorizo, I turned the heat down to low, moved the chorizo/pepper/onion mix to the side
— Add one flour tortilla to the griddle surface, top with cheese all around the tortilla
— Add the chorizo/pepper/onion mix on top of the cheese-topped tortilla
— Add another layer of cheese before placing another tortilla on top of it.
— Push the top tortilla down to create a little bit of a ‘stick’ with the melting cheese.
— Flip after about 15-20 seconds, very carefully, by sliding the spatula underneath and holding the top tortilla with your hand. Be careful to avoid burning yourself.
— A minute or two later, plate it up.

If you are a spicy food lover like me, you will love this delicious concoction.

Leave the recipe as is or modify it! Whatever you do, give it a shot and let me know what you think about it.