Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spent Grain Dog Treats

After several months of inactivity, I finally started brewing again. I have a keg of Oud Bruin fermenting right now, and last week I kegged up some Brown Ale for my friend's movie release party. Tomorrow I will brew a Hefeweizen for that same party. It's a lot of fun, but it also leaves me with a lot of Spent Grain. So, now that I have a dog, I decided to put some of it to good use by making Dog Treats. In all fairness, it doesn't use that much Grain, but I compost the rest in my back yard.

The recipe came from this website: Clearly his look better, but my dog loves the ones I made and that's all that matters to me. I am copying the recipe below for the sake of easy reference for myself. My recipe makes 50% more than the recipe in the link. I did this, because I could only find Peanut Butter in 12 oz. bottles or larger and I wanted to use the whole jar.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

6 c. Spent Grain
12 oz. Smooth Peanut Butter
3 c. Flour
3 Eggs

Mix all the ingredients together and smooth onto a Silpat. Score into rectangles about 1" x 2". Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and then at 225 for 2 hours, or until they are completely dry. Snap the treats apart and store in the freezer. I don't thaw them before feeding them to my dog. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Black-Eyed Pea Medley

Another missed month. Oops.

It's been a hectic few weeks- I just took a job with the City, and last weekend I went to New Orleans with my girlfriend. Rather than try to recreate the past few weeks, suffice it to say that New Orleans was the highlight. It's got to be one of the best food cities in the nation. Our first night we ate at Irene's Cuisine, which I cannot recommend enough. It was pricy, but had a perfect atmosphere and great food. For our breakfasts we ate Beignets at Cafe du Monde, phenomenal Donuts from District Donuts, and delicious Omelets from some diner which I'll never remember. Our other lunches and dinners included Acme Oyster House, Dat Dog (a Hot Dog place where I had a Crawfish Sausage that was excessive in every possible way), Pizza at Domenica (with Roast Carrot Puree instead of Tomato Sauce--- delicious), an early happy hour dinner at SoBou (Gumbo with Mashed Potatoes instead of Rice AND Alligator Corn Dogs... both excellent), and at least one or two meals that I'm forgetting. Everything was fantastic and I came home inspired to cook even more. Unfortunately, everything was so heavy and rich that I've eaten almost only Fruits and Vegetables since I returned. But, in an attempt to make something inspired by this trip while being healthy, I present this Black-Eyed Pea Medley:

Black-Eyed Pea Medley

16 oz. package Dried Black-Eyed Peas
Large bunch Mustard Greens sliced into smaller pieces
6 Roma Tomatos chopped
2 Hatch Peppers
0.5 Onion chopped
2 Cloves Garlic chopped

~0.25 c. Olive Oil
Large pinch dried and ground Chile Pequin
Large pinch Smoked Paprika
Large pinch Jerk Seasoning
Relatively large amount of ground Pepper
Salt to taste

Soak the Black-Eyed Peas overnight and then bring to a boil and let simmer until soft. Drain the Peas into a colander and then pour the Oil into the now-empty pot. Fry the Chile Pequin, Paprika, Jerk Seasoning, Pepper, Onion, Garlic, and Hatch Peppers. Once the Onion starts looking soft, add the Tomato. Boil off some of the liquid and then add the Peas. When everything's looking good, add the Mustard Greens and cook until the Greens are nicely wilted. Serve immediately or enjoy chilled the next day.

Not only is this a healthy, filling, and delicious meal, but it is super cheap. I think the whole thing cost roughly $5 and I will probably get five meals out of it. Not bad, eh?

Oh, I completely forgot to mention that we also saw Joy the Baker in New Orleans. Apparently she lives in the French Quarter. We didn't talk to her or anything, but you know, whatever.