Tag Archives: cooking az

Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder – Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

coffeeEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and occasionally I grind up some Mai Thai Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this is the greatest ever dried vegetables and spice/herb grinder you can get your hands on for under 20 bucks.  In fact for Prime members this awesome tool is just 18.56 with free shipping.

I use this grinder to make hot pepper powders.  Garlic and onion powder from a store?  Never I buy dried onions and dried minced garlic in large quantities, I then make up powders as I need them in small quantities.  Just smell fresh made garlic or onion powder and you will see why.

I whip up my own spice mixes like this one which is a great go to rub for almost any meat but especially chicken on the grill.

  • About a table spoon of each
    • Thyme
    • Dried garlic
    • Dried onion
    • Mustard Seed
    • Fennel Seed
    • Chili Powder
    • Dehydrated Celery (yea that is a secret)
    • Cumin
    • Tellicherry Black Pepper Corns (another secret)
    • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Then about 3 table spoons of paprika
  • About 2 table spoons of parsley

This is all done by estimate by the way, not with spoons but you can do that if you want to.  This is a go to rub for poultry and fast grilled pork.  I just whipped up some for my buddy David to go on quail.  You can see that here.  The best thing with small pieces like quail, cut up chicken etc, is to put it in a large bowl and toss till well coated then grill.

Anyway it is unlimited what you can do, did you see the celery above, we always have it on hand, grinding it gives you the same type of punch as celery seed but it sure costs less and it is more versatile.  You guys that grow 15 different hot peppers can go mad scientist with pepper blends.

The Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder is also equipped with what they call a “Chamber Maid Cleaning System”.  This little device you spin with your finger and it helps get out all the stuff hiding on the edges.  For actual cleaning though, the bowl is water tight!  Fill it just below the max fill line with water (don’t get the base wet), put the lid on, pulse for a few moments, dump it out, set it upside down to dry, DONE!

Lastly I bought my first one of these before I even started TSP, it lasted until this year, when I stupidly tried to grind oyster shell with it!  So I got a new one, and I have found its limits, no rocks or shells, LOL.  Trust me no kitchen specifically no prepper kitchen should be without this tool.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 76% are 4 or 5 star.  If you read the negative reviews they seem to be either coffee snobs that want a 18 dollar grinder to grind with the precision of a 500 dollar tool, or people to dim to get the cord out of the storage space on the bottom.  Friends you can’t fix stupid but you can fix up some amazing rubs and powders with this fool proof tool

Remember you can always see the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here.

 

Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill – Item of the Day

mill

Special Note – The hand finished walnut version of this item I review here is what I paid 50 bucks for 11 years ago, when I first did this posting it was selling still for almost that much on Amazon.  I brought it back around because it is currently on sale for 35.48, which is now less then the painted one mentioned in the PS below.  This is a fantastic price, again I have owned mine now for 11 years, it is still just as good as they day I bought it.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill. Now I know there are some that might ask why in the world anyone would pay about 50 dollars for a pepper mill?  The answer is because 9 years ago at a store, I found this mill, there was a promotional tag on it that said, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.

I snorted with condescension, but I also didn’t put it down.  Just that day I had thrown away yet another piece of junk pepper mill that crapped out.  My philosophy is always get the best value to performance ratio you can.  Another way of saying this is “always be frugal never be cheap”.

Frugal looks at total cost, cheap looks at cost today only.  Throwing out 5 or more 15 – 20 dollar pepper grinders over 5 years, costs 75-100 dollars and you get shitty performance during those years.

With skepticism I took the mill to the counter, mumbling under my breath “for this price it had better be” once again reading the propaganda saying, “the last pepper mill you will ever buy”.  Did it live up to the hype.

Well “last ever” is a bold claim!  I can’t say yet if that is true, even making allowances for buying a second one, or one as a gift.  Will this thing ever die?  I don’t know, I do know I have had it for 11 years, a year longer than I have been doing TSP.  With that in mind, last night, I made a Foraged Bloody Mary and when I did I grabbed this very mill, and it worked as good as the day I bought it.

The one bit of maintenance I do is every time I empty it, before refilling it I take the top off, turn it upside down, depress the bottom a few times and clean out the dust, then refill and rock on.  Is there anything better than the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill I don’t really know, but if it costs more, I would not see the need to pay more.

A final note, when you cook with pepper or use it on food, please use it fresh ground.  Pepper has a lot of oils in it, that is where all the aroma and flavor come from.  This is why preground smells like, well nothing and fresh cracked smells, amazing.

As to the best deal on premium quality pepper corns, check out my write up on Tellicherry Peppercorns, or just get them at amazon, they are, Spicy World Tellicherry Peppercorns.  In any event no matter what pepper you prefer you should pick up the Fletchers’ Federal Pepper Mill to grind it in.  If not now, perhaps the next time you bang a cheap mill on the counter, curse under your breath and hold it up and look at the underside as though as it is an old Chevy in need of suspension work.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

PS – I have linked to the “Walnut” finished model.  Please note there are other finishes, some painted, some of smaller size.  The internals of all the PEPPER MILLS are the same, and there is some pricing variation.  For instance if you want one painted a sort of cinnamon color, you can get it for half the price.   This makes sense as hand finishing wood is more labor intensive than a simple lacquered paint finish.

And that is great, do use some care in your selection as some of the models you can select on the page are actually salt mills, like this one.  I am sure they work just fine, but the grinders are different as they are designed for a different purpose.

 

Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for Bloody Mary’s – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Demitri’s Bacon RimShot for that perfect rimmed glass for that perfect Bloody Mary.  Right up front is there any way this is a preparedness item?  No, but it is a lifestyle item and much of what we focus on here is lifestyle.  Let me tell you the story of how this stuff came into my life.

I have this friend David, my partner in crime at Biltong for Breakfast.  One of his things is mixology and the guy makes some stellar drinks, like the artwork above, a Bloody Mary he recently made at our second filming.   Now I am not sure what a proper Bloody Mary Glass is, apparently it is simply a High Ball Glass but I was checking into some on Amazon and this stuff popped up as a related item.

I almost bought some but then I thought, hmm, bet I can get David to buy this.  So I shot a text over to him, “hey have you seen this” and less than ten minutes later a return text with, “you know I had to order that right” came back.

Hook, line and sinker!  And I knew it would get better, I knew that the next time he came over he’d bring it and make me a Bloody.  The only thing better than a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody you made, is a perfect weekend morning with a Bloody someone made for you.

Okay this stuff was the bomb, it took an already fantastic drink and made it better.  Yes that is actual bacon in those drinks, along with cilantro, an onion, a gerkin, colored carrot, celery, olives, peppers and I think part of the kitchen sink is in there too.  It is literally a breakfast you can drink.   We have also discovered celery bitters and using them in our drinks now as well, got to say they take the bloody to another level as well.

This is where the story gets better, David noticed you actually get two packs of the bacon salt with the tin.  So being the good friend he is, he gave me one to experiment with.  Then in packing up his drink kit he forgot to take his celery bitters and his bloody mix with him.  Did I say the best bloody is one someone makes for you?  May be, but one you make on a Sunday from the found spoils of a friend who forgot them, well that is a strong runner up.

So Sunday morning we had the family coming for the day, like the entire family.  Prior to their arrival I concocted the bloody you see below.  Not quite the art work that David did, but I didn’t have the time really.  See that mini pepper though, yea stuffed that thing with garlic and jalapeno yogurt cheese I made myself, then capped it with some of that bacon salt.  Holy crap I could eat 100 of those things.

This has me wondering what else we might do with this ingredient.  Yes rimming a Bloody Mary glass with it is fantastic, but the flavor is basically pepper, salt and bacon, I mean there has to be a multitude of uses for this stuff.  So give Demitri’s Bacon RimShot a try and add it to your personal favorite way to make a Bloody and see what other uses you can come up for with it.   I will tell you, as I sat on my new back porch with the dogs, milking that drink for a full 45 minutes of the pre crowd peace I had left, I realized that there is a strong possibility that Bloody Mary Sundays may become a ritual around here.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I have not tried these yet but they intrigue me, the same company makes some pretty interesting mixer concentrates.  Keeps the shipping down as they are bases that you add your own tomato juice to.  And this may be over the top, if that is possible in the Bloody Mary World, but they even make pepperoni meat straws, yea really.  Ya, gotta love the innovation of the free market!

 

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle – Item of the Day

kettleEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle.  This item gets used daily.  Now I paid a bit more for mine to get a red one.  Why?  Dorothy likes and wanted a red one.  Well, when a woman puts up with all the crap that a full time podcaster and part time farmers wife puts up with and asks for red, by God she is gonna get it from me anyway.  By the way since the first time I posted this item, the cost of the red one has dropped to almost no real difference in price.

In the end though red or silver they function identically and the silver one is only $24.57 with free shipping on prime.  What do you do with it?  Well clearly you boil water with it but here are my big uses for mine…

  1.  Making mead as seen in this video
  2. I make 4 boiled eggs with no effort in it at a time (more on that below)
  3. I make my tea or coffee with my French Press with it every day
  4. I pre heat water with it for boiling when I am doing a lot of cooking

Okay about those eggs, want perfect eggs hard boiled to this, with any electric kettle by the way.  Put 1-4 eggs in the kettle, fill about half way with water, turn the kettle on, most will automatically stop when they boil, this one does.  When it shuts off, set a timer for 12 minutes, let it just sit for that long.  Pour off the water, rinse with cold water to cool things off and remove your eggs.

Why does this work so well.  Okay when you do the same thing with a pot the eggs sit on the bottom and get hotter on the bottom and get hotter than the 212 it takes to boil the water.  And electric kettle is efficient, heat comes from all sides evenly heating the water, which is why it boils faster.

Due to this your eggs are heated to the exact 212 range of the water and boil to hard perfectly.  Add a tsp of vinegar and they will even peal more easily.  Oh, also use eggs about 2 weeks old for boiling if you have fresh from your own yard eggs, they will peal easily compared to super fresh ones as well.

In any event a good Electric Kettle is something I just could not live without in my kitchen, and the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the best value to price one I have yet found.  Consider that it has 4.5 stars over all with over 700 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, I prefer the Hot and Spicy but you can also get it in Mild or in a Pack with One Each.  I like heat, but I don’t like mental crazy heat and to me anyway, the hot and spicy is fairly mild.

This is another one of my “cooking cheat codes” building on Friday’s review of Doenjang Paste.  I have always loved Jamaican food, especially the star of the show, jerk chicken.  So long ago I taught myself to make it from scratch.  When I met my former business partner and fellow foodie Neil Franklin, he told me about this stuff, and said, “just try it mate, you’ll never do it from scratch again“.

Neil was spot on, and a look at the ingredients shows you why, no junk and the core of solid jerk seasoning, scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, thyme leaves.

Not far off what I used to make from scratch.  And a hell of a lot easier and faster!

It is so easy to use, rub it all over chicken, put chicken in a zip top bag and let it sit over night in the fridge.  You can then bake at 350 till done, kick the broiler on and crisp the skin.  Oh and save that juice, add that to a bit of rice and it is hard to not eat until you think you are going to explode.

My favorite way to use it though is grilled, low and slow over indirect heat.  If you want the juice put a drip pan under it, then give the drippings a quick simmer over direct heat to be safe.  And guess what I just found out, you can buy pimiento wood chips.  In Jamaica real jerk chicken is cooked over pimento wood.  So just make up a foil pouch of chips and poke some holes in it and bring that final bit of flavor to the party.

So that is main reason why this stuff exists, making jerk chicken and if that was all it did, it would be enough.  Remember though, this is a Spirko cheat code, so you know I have more to add.  Rub large shrimp with it, dust them with a bit of lime zest, bacon wrap and grill on skewers.  The shrimp, the bacon grease, the lime, the jerk, yes it is all very, very good.  Make a sauce from rum with pineapple for these and you may think you died and went food heaven.

Spirko Hack – When bacon wrapping shrimp it is hard to get bacon crisp without over cooking the shrimp.  Step one, par cook the bacon, to where it renders about 1/3rd of the fat but will still wrap easily.  Step two, put a cast iron skillet on the grill or a side burner, put each skewer on the cast iron for 15-20 seconds per side at finish.

How about jerked baby back ribs, really easy ones that are almost no work!  Rub your ribs well and marinate over night.  Sacrifice a beer into your pressure cooker, put in steaming rack, then add ribs, pressure cook for 40-50 minutes.  Take out ribs and make a base from the stuff in the bottom of the cooker 50-50 with your favorite BBQ sauce.  To do this simmer it to reduce by half and blend in about the same amount of BBQ sauce, after the reduction.  Baste top of ribs and finish on grill or under broiler.  Save some of the baste for dipping.  Just cook long enough to dry out the baste and firm up the ribs, about 10-15 minutes.

Jamaican meat balls, there is no such thing.  Oh but there can be!  Finely chop one 12-16 ounce pack of bacon (oh you thought I was just going to mix this and hamburger didn’t you?), now add one pound of ground beef and one pound of pork and the bacon to a bowl.  Chop up a bunch of green onions and a few cloves of garlic.  Use about 1-2 tablespoons of Walkerswood seasoning, I do this by eye.  Add one egg and half a cup of panko bread crumbs to bind.

Mix well and this is important, let it sit for an hour at least, over night is better.  Bake in a 400-425 degree oven until done.  I like to bake them on a rack so the drippings fall away and they crisp a bit with the convection roast setting, save those drippings though, use foil for easy cleaning.  Why does it have to sit before cooking, those wonderful panko crumbs suck up all that seasoning and hold onto it, that is why.

Frankly you can jerk up just about any meat and even some veggies with this stuff, so give Walkerswood Hot and Spicy, Mild or Variety Pack a try today.  It doesn’t just make great chicken, it makes great everything.

One last hack you say?  Okay, next time you are hungry for burgers, mix some into your meat.  Also coat one side of some bacon with it, grill your burgers and bacon, also slice an apple into about 1/4 inch slices, (trust me), grill the apple till just done and grill some chili peppers, seeded jalapeno is good.  Now assemble the burger with peppers and apple where say lettuce and tomato would normally go.  Of course cheese is optional but highly encouraged on this, pepper jack is my preference.  Toast your bun of course with a brushing of garlic butter.  So now you are hungry right?  So you know what to do, get some Walkerswood Today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – It seems that this seasoning and chicken thighs will be featured on a new episode of Biltong for Breakfast soon, something about a salad with jerk chicken or something like that!

P.S.S.  – The mild version is the exact same ingredients, just less scotch bonnet peppers.

Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s item of the day is the Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste.  Doenjang along with some other stuff like Gochujang, Curry Pastes, etc. makes up a group of stuff I call my “cooking cheat codes”, hey that sounds like it should be a show some day.

In any event what I mean by cheat codes is sure you can use them in the classic dishes they are intended for, and I do.  However, where they come into a world all their own is in incorporating them into places you’d not expect to find them.

Here is an example, many times when making up a basting sauce to finish things on the grill with, especially chicken and pork, I will include this stuff.  A couple three teaspoons depending on how much I am making.  Make up a baste for instance with your favorite BBQ sauce, some soy, some beer, some copped chilopolte in adobo (another cheat code), a splash of really top shelf fish sauce (another cheat code) and enough Doenjang to thicken it.

Baste this onto any chicken or pork dish where you want a bit of “heat and sweet” and it will just blow your mind.  If no one told you what was in there unless you’d had it before you could never put your finger on it.  It adds depth and that funky umami flavor that is just awesome with a bit of heat and sweet along side it. When I made this to baste pork for Biltong for Breakfast, my buddy David kept eating it like fricken salsa on corn chips!  Okay I will admit it, I did too.

Here is another use, I have been told tilapia are bland fish, oh really?  Clean the tilapia head on and just gutted.  Get them very dried off, cut a few slits in the skin on both sides.   Now take Doenjang and Gochujang in about equal amounts and mix them together.  Chop up about one clove of garlic and an equal size piece of ginger very fine, or you can use garlic ginger paste (another cheat code) and mix it into the paste.

Now this is the critical part, if you slather this paste on as it, it will BURN and that in the words of Alton Brown, “is not good eats”.  Using a high temp cooking oil like peanut oil or similar, drizzle it onto the paste and mix until you end up with a “thick oil” something that is paste like but thin enough to just pour.

Rub the outside and inside of the fish with this oil/paste, really work it into the slits in the skin, into the flesh.  Slice up a few stems of green onion and ginger like big match stick size and put them in the fishes belly.  Add some kefir lime leaf or lime zest inside the belly too.  Keep the coating on the outer skin light, go heavy again in the slits and in the body cavity.

Grill these fish over high heat until just done and skin is crisp, translation don’t close your grill down, or you will over cook your fish.  Enjoy and DO NOT discard that skin, it is the best part.  And if you think this fish is “bland” you need a tongue transplant or something.

You can also pan fry these fish in enough oil to cover about 50% of their thickness, if you do that the tail is so crisp it is like a delicacy with all that flavor.

I have also used this alone and mixed with other pastes to rub down red meat (beef and venison) and let it sit in the fridge at least 24 hours.  Wipe off the excess and add some S&P and just grill.  It can be that simple, the fermented components help tenderize the meat and that unique flavor finds its way in.  Again wipe off the excess, if you apply heat to a layer of this paste it quickly burns, so does Gochujang.

So give this stuff a try, you will find yourself mixing it into marinades, bastes and doing all kinds of stuff with it, hmm, I wonder what it would do on a Sous Vide steak?  I am not sure, but I am gonna find out!

On my brand of choice, I have tried many and Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste is simply the best I have found.  First it is supposed to be “fermented soy bean paste” and crazy as it sounds that pretty much means just soy and salt and some starter.  Well here is the full list of ingredients for Sempio Doenjang, (soybean, salt, distilled alcohol, water, koji starter).  Next notice the ingredient is “soybean” not “soybean powder”.

The big thing is there is no wheat, other grains, MSG, etc.  Every other version I have check out is full of wheat and other ingredients with no business being in this stuff.  In Korea this stuff is made by many still in their homes, they just add some koji, salt and water to soybeans and ferment it.  They don’t use soy powder, it is supposed to be chunky.  I feel Sempio is closest thing to Korean House Wife Made Doenjang you are going to find for sale in the US.

It is important to me that we are actually talking about FERMENTED soybeans here.  I am personally not a huge fan of soy from a health aspect, way to high in phyto estrogen, however all things in moderation.  A two pound tub of this stuff will last for months on end, it is used to flavor things not to be eaten on a spoon and a little goes a long way, so don’t worry it won’t turn you into a soy boy or anything like that.

Anyway give Sempio Doenjang – Fermented Soybean Paste and I think you will be adding it permanently to your list of cooking cheat codes.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I am not a big bread guy but I know many of you guys are.  So when I saw this book pop up in a sales report it caught my eye.

I bought a copy on kindle to review the methods and thought processes that go into it and I was very impressed.   Since then I have talked to several members of this audience that use this method to make bread many times each week, all are thrilled with it and the results they get.

Personally I try to keep my carbohydrate intake very low, it just doesn’t work for me to have a carb based diet, it causes me to rapidly gain weight and have health issues.  However, many of you do not have this issue and eat bread often.

My advice to such people, use organic flour and make your own bread.  Yet I think of my grandmother baking bread and how it was an all day affair sometimes when it was being done for extended family for special things like Easter it was an all weekend affair and think, how can a person really do this if they have a modern life.

This book is how, you make up the dough per the methods described here say on Sunday, it lives in a bowl in  your fridge and you take enough out at a time to make bread for say Monday, you do this again Tuesday and so on.  It does require a bit of specialized technique and some gear outlined in the book but once you get your system in place, it really is about 5 minutes of work per day to make a fresh loaf every day if you want.

Further organic flour is not that expensive so you can eat far higher quality for very little money this way.  So if you and/or your family like to literally “break bread” often check out, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

Bristle Free Grill Brush by Gven – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Bristle Free Grill Brush by Gven.  Guys and gals this one is important, it may actually save your life or at least from a painful trip to the ER and surgery to go along with it and no I am not kidding.

Finding this started a couple years ago for me, I went to get some stuff at a box store and needed a new cleaning brush for my grill.  There were no wire bristle ones, all were that poly plastic nylon crap!  I was dismayed, finding one of these had never been a problem.  Later that week Dorothy was watching a show called “Untold Stories of the ER” and I sat down to watch with her.

In this episode a kid was having a ton of abdominal pain.  They ended up doing an scan and found a tiny piece of metal had gotten into his intestines, it pierced the walls and had tangled the intestines together in a knot!  As soon as the father saw the scan he knew what it was, a bristle from a grilling brush.  It clicked, clearly this had become an issue and that is why none were in the store.

The problem for me was, nothing really works as good as a metal bristle brush for cleaning a grill.  As usual the free market really is a wonderful thing that responds to demand.  These types of spiral form brushes started to show up.  They have no bristles an the wire is thicker, running in one continuous piece.  Nothing to get left behind and end up in your burger or chop, that may later end up in you.

This one made by Gven is the best of them I have tried.  It is built solid with heavy materials.  It has almost 200 reviews with a 4.5 star rating and unlike many impostors it has a grade of an A at Fakespot.com.  The twin heads are staggered and do a great job cleaning off your grill.

My procedure is simple, as soon as I am done cooking while the grill is still  hot, I hit it with my brush until it is clean enough for me, done.  Rinse brush in hot water and hang up to dry.

So give the Gven Bristle Free Cleaning Brush a shot if you don’t have something like this already.  And if you have one of those old style brushes, frankly get rid of it.  Sure the risk is low but the risk is also real.  See the video below of one study from just one ER, over 18 months they had 6 injuries related to this.  Again that is one ER, so extrapolate that across the country.  Again the risk is real.

Now here is what I think happened, given we used these brushes for 40 years and this problem is kind of new.  Over the last 15 years the quality of all goods has slipped, when it slipped on this type of product, bad things happened.  That said why risk it, the brush in this article works fantastically, it is safe for all grill surfaces and you can be sure your family and friends won’t end up in the ER on what should have been a wonderful day.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Ras El Hanout Seasoning from Pinch Spice Market – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Ras El Hanout seasoning from Pinch Spice Market.  Pinch has a variety of interesting stuff I will be trying soon.  I used the Raas El Hanout (pronounced like – ross el ha newt) in my first ever attempt at tagine cooking to do a tagine quail.  While I still need to dial in cook time and temp settings a bit to master the tagine, the flavor was off the hook.

I am a big fan of making up your own mixes but this is one I am happy to let someone else do.  Ras El Hanout seasoning is sort of like the Moroccan answer to curry.  It is curry like in flavor (similar to a yellow Indian curry) but not as strong in that “curry way”.  I’ll put it this way, my wife doesn’t like Indian yellow curries at all, but she loved this stuff.  And yet I find them quite similar.

The way it is like curry though is there is no one way to make a Ras El Hanout, every cook in Morocco is likely to have their own, and of course theirs is “the best”.  This mix uses a lot of spices, you will see recipes for it with anywhere from 15-30 different ingredients.  This brand was the best I could find, the company says they worked on it for over six months and the effort shows.  It is made up of a whopping 26 spices, they are,

  • cumin
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • grains of paradise
  • coriander
  • turmeric
  • cayenne
  • lemon peel
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • allspice
  • juniper
  • nutmeg
  • glangal
  • ginger
  • mace
  • fenugreek
  • mustard
  • clove
  • anise seed
  • licorice
  • rose
  • lavender
  • ajwain
  • hibiscus

Yea with a list that long of so many exotic spices I am content to let someone else mix it.  It is a bit pricey at 12 bucks for 4 ounces but a little goes a long way.  For the quail I put four quail in an unglazed tagine, it is important to properly season a tagine before using it.  I added colored baby carrots, fingerling potatoes, shallots, olive oil, water, garlic, lime zest and bay.  I also used about two teaspoons of the Ras El Hanout.

The quail leg quarters were perfect but I slightly over cooked the breast, I think I need to cook at a lower temp and sear the birds before putting them in the tagine.  Also a bit more liquid to more braise the quails.  They would be best cut into quarters too, so they braise better.  These were older cull birds and since they free range in the aviary they do get a bit tough.  Next up will be tagine venison!

The liquid in the tagine was a wonderful clear yellow broth, it screams out to go on rice or couscous.  We really try to keep carbs as low as we can but I am going to have to make up a bit of either at some point try with this.  I would also say saffron would be a good addition to the basic recipe of a tagine dish.

This seasoning though need not be confined to tagine cooking, it will add huge flavor to almost anything.  Fried potatoes would be exotic as hell seasoned with this.  I can only imagine what slow cooked lamb in this stuff will be like.   Based on the taste of the quail it seems like this stuff will have a love affair with chicken, slow cooked, grilled, saute’d, it doesn’t matter.  In fact here are a bunch of ideas for using Ras El Hanout.

This is one of those things that is like a cooking cheat code, sort of like a curry paste or a stock paste is.  You want to take something in a certain direction, add this to taste and you are a kitchen rock star that night.

Oh and did you see the one thing not in this stuff?  Salt!  This is good in a lot of ways.  First I hate paying for high end organic spices when 10-20 percent by weight is fricken salt!  That is not good economics.  Second I like to control my own salt levels.  But I realized that some people have to omit or severely limit salt, wow, this is a product for you, massive flavor, no salt.

So give Ras El Hanout seasoning from Pinch Spice Market and I think you are really going to enjoy it.  Spices and seasonings are a great thing for preppers to store on hand.  If you are inclined to store some extra of this stuff, I would go with a well sealed ball jar.  Don’t use vac seal bags with anything like this, you end up with bad clumping, trust me I know.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Here is some solid food porn from last nights meal.

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Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Bar Keepers Friend Cleaner & Polish in a four pack but you can also get it in a single pack or even in a six pack.  The four pack is a much better deal then the single can though.

The six price is the best price per ounce but six of these is a LOT of it.  So I think most people will do best with the four pack at $12.92 or only $3.23 a can.

I first discovered how great this stuff was when a listener called in about it.  We actually had some that a house sitter had brought with her during one of our vacations.  So I gave the test of tests at our place, washing a simple glass.

You see our water is hard, really hard, washing a glass makes it get hazy, the more you wash it the worse it gets.  We tried everything, washing glasses on hot water, using vinegar or special rinse enhancers in the dish washer.

Hell I even got desperate enough to try grain alcohol.  Nothing worked!

It got so bad I refused to buy new glassware, prompting a buddy to declare that I was, “Too cheap to own a decent martini glass”.  The nerve of some people!

Anyway I got one of my worst high ball glasses out and gave it a quick scrub and it looked good but I was skeptical, they always look good wet, they haze over as they dry.  But after drying the glass it was still crystal clear.

Since I have tried it on faucets, stained sink drains, etc. and it works wonderfully for all of them.  Check out this video of one of our hazy glasses being restored right here.

In any event consider adding this stuff to your homestead.  I can see why they call it “Barkeeper’s Friend” but I really see it as home owners friend.  It doesn’t do everything but it does somethings better than anything else.  So consider picking up a six pack, four pack or at least a single can today.  If you give this stuff a try it will earn a full time place in your cleaning supplies.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.