Tag Archives: cooking

Episode-2190- Jack’s Cooking Hacks and Cheat Codes

So as many of you know one of my passions in life is cooking.  To me it is more than just food, it’s understanding other cultures and history.  It is chemistry, biology and science as well.  And to me anyway cooking is fun, trying new things, making something simple not just taste good but look amazing.

Take the picture above for instance.  To make that we just took a walk around our property.  We foraged some wild garlic flowers, some lambsquarters, nasturtium, pea tendrils and some veggies from our grow beds.  We made a salad with left over cut up chicken.  Simple, but why does it look so amazing, simply the arrangement.  I can tell you that it also tasted as good as it looked.

So today I want to give away a bunch of what I call me “cheat codes”, these are various ingredients that add amazing flavor with minimal effort.  Additionally I feel if an ingredient is a “cheat code” it has to do more than just what it is intended to do, for instance sure you can make chipolte mayo for a taco with chipolte canned peppers, but you can also make a BBQ sauce for ribs that will blow your mind.

I am also including “Jack Hacks”, little things I have learned over the years to make things work better or to make them easier to do.  Like how about a way to make perfect rice and not even give a damn about how much water you use.  Okay you are going to have to tune in for that.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why we should make cooking an essential life skill in America
  • Some of my favorite “cheat codes and what to do with them”
  • Some of my hacks
    • Cook rice like you do pasta
    • Infuse rice with flavor
    • Par cook bacon that is going to used to wrap something
    • Always do your marinades or brines in a zip top bag
    • If a marinade has water and oil bases always add mustard
    • Mix marinades in a ball jar
    • Partially freeze any meat you want to grind or slice
    • Steam your hard boiled eggs instead of boiling them (Alton Brown Hack)
    • Grill fruit
    • Use water from re-hydrated veggies
    • Salted Steaks and Salted Squash (how to make zoodles)
    • Salt aging steaks (Alton Brow Hack)
    • Defrost meat on cast iron cookware – yes it works
    • Use cast iron to start or finish sear food on the grill
    • Soak skewers in a water bottle (Another Alton Brown Hack)
    • Cook chicken bones/cores in a strainer (I love this pot and strainer from Ikea)
    • Put a lemon in chicken stock
    • The above also makes a great steamer
    • Cook in the oven with a cooling rack and a baking pan
    • Finally, do put some thought into presentation
  • In the end just try stuff, it will often work out

Resources for today’s show…

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Episode-2116- Cooking This Thanksgiving and Just Killin’ It

This Guy Will Be on the Spirko Table for Thanksgiving 2017

In previous years I have had Chef Keith Snow on to discuss various aspects of Thanksgiving Dinner.  This year I decided to go it alone but if you want some great additional tips and recipes I will refer you back to some of his previous episodes here and here.

I wanted to take a bit of a different approach and give you some alternatives and some things that just might blow your guests totally away.  I also think it is time for a fun show and frankly I need to get into the “holiday spirit” myself.  2017 has raced by and it is hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is only 3 days away.

For the rest of the week we have some cool stuff going on.  Tomorrow Steven Harris and I will be doing a show totally off the cuff on options for bug out trailers.  Wednesday we will run the Thanksgiving special show and then shut down until Monday as we have made a tradition here at TSP.

Today We Discuss…

  • Dealing with “always late guests” (Tardiness Protocol 101)
  • Enjoy the day, spread stuff out over time
  • If people drink, put a drink, not a open bar in their hands
  • Argue about sports but ignore politics
  • Ignore perceived criticisms (in-laws and why they have them sometimes)
  • Appetizers
    • Sweet Potato Rounds with Cranberry and Walnut Lebneh
    • Apple and Chestnut Stuffed Mushrooms with Bacon (or anything small)
    • Twice Fried Finger Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Garlic
    • Warm Cranberry Sauce (its a trick)
  • How I Always Cook a Turkey (brined and smoked)
    • De-breast Cutlets and Remove Leg Quarters and Wings
    • Reserve heart, liver, wing tips, tail and neck for stock
    • Bag up and freeze core for stock later on
    • Brine Breasts, Quarters and Wings in Jack’s Brine
      • Per Gallon
        • 1 Cup Salt
        • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
        • Handful of Black Peppercorns (whole)
        • Small Handful of Whole Mustard Seed
        • 4-6 Bay Leaves
        • 8 Sage Leaves (1tbs dry)
        • Optional Items
        • 2-4 Star Anise
        • Small Handful of Whole Coriander
      • Brine Turkey Parts 24 Hours
      • Smoke to 160-165, remove parts as they hit that number.
      • Immediately wrap in double thickness heavy foil
      • Wrap in towels set aside until time to serve
      • If you don’t have a smoker roast at 275
    • Sausage, Chestnut and Cornbread Stuffing
    • Making gravy – real gravy
    • Sauteed green beans and bacon
    • Some mashed potato hacks
      • Cook in chicken stock or with Better Than Bullion
      • Add garlic and or onion when cooking
      • Use heavy cream instead of milk
      • Provide chives and parsley for topping
    • Apple Pie Moonshine for After Dinner (giving away my secrets)
      • 1 750ML Bottle of Everclear (or high proof shine)
      • 2 Cups of Vanilla Vodka – secret (no longer well kept)
      • 2 Cups of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum – secret (no longer well kept)
      • 2 Gallons of Apple Cider
      • 8 Real Cinnamon Sticks (Ceylon) – secret
      • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
      • 2 Cups Honey – Secret until today
      • Tune in For the Procedure
    • White Chocolate Mint Shots
    • Okay Damn it One Desert – Stuffed Baked Apples
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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Episode-2083- Cooking Venison and Other Fish & Game

Property Trimmed Venison Flank Steak Seasoned With Salt and Pepper and Ready for the Pan

We are heading into the season of harvest and I figured for a fun show today I would talk about various ways to cook venison and a few other types of fish and game.

Cooking as many of you know is one of my passions, I love cooking becuase it is a special blend and a blend many don’t really think about.  Cooking when you think about it is a blending of….

  • Culture and Heritage
  • History
  • Science (mostly biology, chemistry and physics)
  • Practical Needs (we all have to eat and you have what you have)

I mean think about something like a classic Vietnamese cooking, one of the most sophisticated forms of cooking in the world.

Under Culture and Herritage you have a blending of classic south east Asian cultures and French Influences.  Which takes us right to history, as under French occupation that French influence came into being.  The science is there in many ways, but just examine the concept of all 5 flavors being present, salty, sweet, sour, bitter and spicy in every dish.  On practical needs, the main dishes consist of locally available food, much grown, raised and foraged by even the poorest residents.

This is true of all foods and in blending techniques, science, cultures, etc. we get what modern chefs call “fusion food” but Redneck Duck farmers like me simply call good eating.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • The rules of wild game specifically venison
    1. Don’t over cook it
    2. Gamey is not a flavor it means you screwed up
    3. If you are grilling or frying, cook hot and fast
    4. Use large piece if you are trying anything low and slow
    5. Ground venison and other game benefits from added fat
    6. Game is lean, see rule number one
  • Some ways to make venison many never even consider
    • Fried venison flank and breast meat with fried sun chokes
    • Braised venison shanks and fingerling potatoes – you will never grind one again
    • Smoked venison leg roast – better than prime rib
    • Chicken fried back strap
    • Grilled or fried deer heart
    • Biltong – the perfect survival food
  • Use that liver when you make sausage, or feed to dogs in MODERATION
  • Why I tend to not grind venison during butchering
  • Don’t discard bones, venison bone stock is amazing
  • Some other game and fish ideas
    • Simple fried bluegill or other panfish
    • Fish Tacos – really good with sandbass
    • Catfish Steaks – So Simple
    • Grilled Squirrel
    • Squirrel Stew
    • Ground Hog BBQ (try it, you will like it)
    • Duck and/or Goose Soup
    • Wild Hog Jalapeno Bacon Medallions
  • A bit on sauces, seasonings, marinades etc.

Resources for today’s show…

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Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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Episode-2040- Cooking With Jack – July 2017

Sweet Potato Ribbons and Sweet Potato Greens Accompany a Good Steak

Today it is time for a relaxed and fun show, we are going to talk about one of my favorite things in the world to discuss and do, cooking.  Cooking is a life skill that is frankly dying in America.

When I was in high school home economics was still a thing, mostly girls took it, or smart boys like I was who knew we would be surrounded by girls.  Something happened in my generation though, most of us knew how to cook but we seem to have failed in passing it on to the millennial generation.

One of my goals at TSP is restoring skills to people, from changing a tire, to setting a trap to cooking.  Cooking gives us so much if we embrace it.  Cooking is not just a way to make food taste good, is science and history and culture all in one wonderful thing.

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • Yes this is a survival skill
    • You have to eat
    • Your health is important
    • You need money to go further that it does for most people
  • Some new stuff going on in the Spirko Kitchen
    • Such an awesome way to make tacos
    • Sweet Potato Green and Orange
    • Stir Fry Chicken (good for pork and shrimp as well)
    • Jack’s Asian Chile, Fish and Shrimp Soup
    • A “Roasted” Cucumber Salad – Sort Of
    • Chipotle Mayo that is stupid simple to make
    • Bad Ass Guacamole that Won’t Turn Black in one day
  • Yes I provided recipes but master techniques, flavor combinations and be fearless

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Join the MSB Today

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Episode-2013- Cooking with the Weber Kettle Grill

I have been asked if I think the Weber Kettle is the best charcoal grill on the market.  My answer to that is a definitive no.  The next question then is why do you love it so much.  Well first in my opinion it is the best charcoal grill under 200 dollars on the market, perhaps the best (from a versatility stand point) under 400 dollars.

Next is how portable it is.  While full sized, you can toss it in a truck bed with ease due to its light weight.  Secure it with a bungee or a ratchet strap and you are good to go.  Sure the “Big Green Egg” is better in many ways but I can’t load it into my truck for a tail gate party with no effort at all.  I can also buy two Weber’s, Charcoal and a quarter beef or a pastured pig for less than one full sized Big Green Egg.

Another reason I love it, is this is the grill our Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers cooked with.  This grill was first released in 1952.  This is the grill packed into the back of 47 Fords and 45 Chevy trucks and taken out to the country side by the post war generation while raising the baby boomers.  It became a symbol of our freedom in our nation, to go where we wanted and see our beautiful country.  No other grill can really make this claim.

Many have come and gone but after 65 years the Weber is possibly more popular than ever, with a loyal cult following that even Jimmy Buffett would envy.  Today we discuss making great meals on the Weber Kettle and some cool hacks and accessories to use with this great grill.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • This history of the weber kettle
  • The key is always do you go hot and fast or low and slow
  • Thoughts on bastes, marinades and brine
  • Rundown on some great accessories along with hacks for them or to replace them
    • 22 and 14 Inch Skewers
    • Charcoal Briquette Holders
    • Slow N Sear and Smokenator
    • Weber Grates with Removable 12 Inch Center
    • Stainless Steel Whirlpool/Vortex For Weber Kettle
    • King Kooker Leg and Wing Rack
    • Porcelain Beer Can Chicken Sitter
  • Remember always it is technique over recipe

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

Weber Resources, Products and Accessories

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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New Videos – Aquaponics – Tree Collards – Baby Chicks and Polts and Zoodles

In this first video we check out some stuff in the aquaponics and aquatics systems, including Tree Collards that you can order at projecttreecollard.org

We also look at the progress of the white Hubbard squash. Watch the bees working the Pickerel Rush and see the recent failure of the aquatic system and our temporary work around.

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Next in Season Three – Episode 18 of The Duck Chronicles we have a duckless duck chronicle episode because the new babies are here.  Today we have to intercept the mail lady to get the birds out of the truck early in the day, we unbox the babies and get them settled into their brooders.

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Lastly I have put together the long promised how to make zoodles video.  Zoodles are zuchinni noodles, we use these in dozens of ways and they make a great way to use left overs.  In this instance we used some left over meat balls, some of our cherry tomatoes and basil out of the aquaponics system with some salt, pepper and garlic to make something pretty outstanding.

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Redneck Venison Pho and New Aquatic System Drains

Couple videos we did over the weekend.  First is what we call Redneck Pho (pho is pronounced fuh) this version is made with venison and quail.  Most of the time I actually do the broth for about 3-4 hours longer, chill over night in the fridge and remove any hardened fat/tallow from the top.  Then use the broth for Redneck Pho or other things.  But for the sake of this video I condensed it into one process.

Items mentioned in this video Items mentioned in this video are Red Yeti Shears  and the Stock Sock

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Next up some modifications I made to out aquatic system on Sunday.  I came up with a simple cheap way to create overflow drains that should be 100% fool proof in never clogging.

NOTE – Concerns about the metal tanks, suggestions to try to make this aquatic system into an aquaponics system or fear mongering about PVC will be ignored and possibly deleted.  Sorry but after three years of explaining it, I am just done.  Some day soon I may do one video addressing these concerns one more time, but for the time being I am just done with nervous nillies and people that worry about non problems.

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Episode-1937- Fishing For Food, Underrated Fish and How to Cook Them

Some See “Trash Fish” but I See Dinner

A friend and I have been talking about fishing a lot lately, it is still cold, the winds are stupid this time of year, but man I have the bug.  It is likely that I will be investing in a boat in March, and will be hitting some of the bigger lakes in the are.

I really do love simply bank fishing and shore fishing though.  Something about the simplicity, park the car or truck, a short walk with your gear and a cooler with a few beers and hopefully some stuff worth frying up by day’s end.   With surf fishing it is a long drive but the experience is even better, standing up to your waste while schools of fish and the occasional shark swim by, (no I am not kidding) with the anticipation of never knowing what you might catch next.

Fishing has become a massive industry even at the “recreational level”, I know people with 55,000 dollar “bass boats” filled up with 15,000 dollars worth of gear.  (once again not kidding) These people fish constantly and never keep a fish, yet refer to fish like Sand Bass and Bullheads as “trash fish”.

I don’t know, perhaps it was growing up without a lot but a love for the outdoors that keeps me grounded.  I have been off shore for Marlin, in the Florida bays catching Snook longer than my leg, on Gatun Lake in Panama after massive Peacock bass and deep into the mountains for brook trout that had never likely seen a hook in their lives.  There is more, I have quite literally at times been an “adventurer fisherman”.

Yet I still enjoy bouncing slabs for sand bass or just sitting at a small stock pond catching small bullhead catfish or fishing a back water creek for various perch/brim/sunfish.  I also enjoy standing in the surf and catching whiting, hard heads and gaftops.  And in many ways it is these fish I most enjoy eating.

They are small, tasty, fast to clean, they have a great size to yield ratio and you literally can’t harm their populations with hook and line.  Today we talk about this type of fishing and the food value it brings to your home.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • Basic bank and surf gear for these types of fish
  • Finding places to fish, check right under your nose
  • How do you actually “target a species”
    • Habits
    • Patterns
    • Seasons
    • Diet
  • Some of my favorite species to target
    • Fresh Water
      • Bullhead Cats
      • Channel Cats
      • Fresh Water Drum
      • White Bass
      • Bluegill/Sunfish/Perch/Brim/etc
      • Bowfin – I don’t eat these but fun to catch
    • Salt Water
      • Gaftop and Hardhead Catfish
      • Whiting
      • Sand Trout
      • Jack Crevalle
      • Small Sharks (Blacktips)
      • Croaker
      • Bluefish
  • Some ways to prepare some of these fish
    • Pan Fried “shucked catfish”
    • Grilled Channel Cat Steaks
    • White Bass on the Half Shell
    • Yellow Bass Chowder – you can use any fish
    • Whiting Cerviche – you can do this with any salt water fish
    • Grilled Shark or Jack Fish
  • Nothing will kill you (cooked) so try everything

Resources for today’s show…

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Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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Episode-1929- Chef Keith Snow on the Food Storage Feast

Chef Keith Snow is the author of The Harvest Eating Cookbook-Running Press 2009, and host of Harvest Eating Radio, which has surpassed 350 episodes and continues to grow a substantial audience of devoted listeners, true friends and fans.

Keith joins us today to discuss his new online storage food cooking course, called Food Storage Feast.   In this course he teaches you to make gourmet meals with your preps, and integrate your food storage plan into your daily menu so you can really “store what you eat and eat what you store.”

Join Us Today to Discuss…

  • Why do people’s food storage plans fail
  • How to use grains and basics but not have meals end up like “prison gruel”
  • How cooking regularly from your storage food slash your grocery bill
  • Why learning to cook gourmet meals from storage food is a win-win survival skill
  • Why you should not rely on ready-made, freeze-dried, just-add-water meals
  • How Chef Keith’s course will work and how he interacts with his students

Resources for today’s show…

Sponsors of the Day

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

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Episode-1906- Cooking Venison

deersteak

A perfectly cooked deer steak, you can go to medium but if you go to well done, you are evil and do not deserve to touch venison.

Okay right out of the gate if you are not into or do not have access to game, this podcast will still be advantageous to you, every technique I cover can be applied to any red meat like say beef or lamb.

Cooking really is all about technique, and red meat is red meat, pork is pork, etc.  There are some differences due to fat content we will address but on that, the number one way people ruin any meat, especially wild game is OVER COOKING IT.

It staggers the mind, a person will eat a steak from a cow, raised in a CAFO, that stood in its own crap and cooking it to medium is okay.  But give them a deer that lived in the wild, never was confined, lived on the most natural diet in the world and they cook it to oblivion to be “safe”.

Join Me Today To Discuss…

  • The question that spawned this episode
  • A few thoughts on self processed vs. professional processing
  • Cooking Venison by the Cut/Product
    • Steaks
    • Stew meat
    • Ground meat
    • Sausage
    • Chops
    • Roasts
    • Back straps
    • Tenderloins
    • Heart
    • Liver
  • Final Thoughts

Resources for today’s show…

Cooking Tools From Today’s Show

Sponsors of the Day

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council that can answer you questions. If you have a question send it to jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with TSPC Epert in the subject line. Ask your question in one to two sentences so it is clear then provide any additional details. Make sure to tell me what council member the question is for. You Meet the Expert Council at this Link.

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