Tri-Tip Grilled


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We had a great time this past week, developing some recipes and grilling. Never have done a Tri-Tip, so it is time to dive in! And this one was superb. Great grill taste and smoke that did not overpower the beef, as smoking does. Good smoke ring and cooked, I think, to perfection. Juicy and succulent and medium rare. Here is the recipe we came up with. Enjoy! And to go along with the BBQ, one needs to have a good BBQ Sauce. I prefer a KC Style sauce and here is what I came up with. Enjoy with your BBQ.

BP-9Sept2022_1e_Captains Shack_Tri Tip

Here is the Tri-Tip on the grill with some roasted corn.

BP_16 Sept 2022_1a_Caaptains Shack_Tri Tip Sliced

This is the sliced Tri-Tip. Good color and smoke ring.

BP_16 Sept 2022_1b_Captains Shack_Tri Tip Plated

Dinner is plated with the Roasted Corn and the BBQ Sauce.

I know from our FB page and from the emails I have received, that folks are interested in some information about a Tri-Tip. So here is some. From,

Tri tip is a triangular cut of beef cut from the bottom of the sirloin. Named after its triangular shape with a tapered “tip”, tri tip might just be one of the most flavourful cuts of meat that you’ve never heard of.

Often confused with brisket or picanha, tri tip is most popular in southern California, so you can be forgiven if you’ve never come across it before. It is also called a California cut, a bottom sirloin butt, a Newport steak, a Santa Maria steak or even referred to as a “poor man’s brisket”. But unlike brisket – which comes from the front of the cow, below the chuck – tri tip is actually considered a steak.

Tri tip dates back to early 19th century America, where it was a write-off and ground up to be used in hamburger meat. It wasn’t until the 1950s when Bob Schutz, the then-owner of Santa Maria Market, upon receiving an excess of hamburger meat, decided to prepare and eat it like a steak. The result was well received and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hope you enjoy this. Please let us know. Thanks.

Some Meals to Contemplate


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Sorry it has been so long since the last post. But things have been hectic. So now here are some meals that we have been working on. Some are using leftovers and therefore no real recipe. Others have recipes and posted with the photo of the meal. Hope you enjoy these. Let’s start with breakfast.

bp-12Aug2022_1_Captains Shack_Eggs Polenta

We had some Idaho produced polenta in the refrigerator so why not some Fried Polenta, Sausage Linjks and Basted eggs? That’s what we had. All very basic, except you might want to prepare the polenta on medium low heat to prevent burning. The eggs were basted – fry until whites are set then add water and a clear lid to steam the eggs. Only takes a minute or too. Found it works best with butter in the pan and not an oil.

Then there were what we like to call Eggs on Pillows. Basted eggs on “pillows” of fresh made hash browns.  And then served with sausage links. Again, not difficult to make.

Now. Let’s move to dinners.

Nothing says one can not have a salad for dinner. Try this modified Caprice Salad, for example. Basically, a Caprice Salad -tomato, mozzarella cheese and lots of fresh basil. Then I added black olives and I had to use mozzarella string cheese – all I had. Then added celery and hard cooked eggs. and olive oil for a dressing. It worked. Different, but yummy!

And for dinner, a Tuscan Fried Chicken using Italian herb mix and some  of our Herbs de Provence, Topped each piece with some fresh basil. It was really good.


And then how about a Native American dish I called Totanka Stew. Totanka is Sioux for buffalo. The stew is a great one and we like it better than a beef stew. The buffalo was a sliced hump roast and the cut to bite sized pieces. Not difficult to make, just takes a little time.

And for dessert, Robin loves the Shortbread Cookies. Again, not hard to do, just takes a little time. Sometimes I even add roasted pecans, but not always.

So there you go. Some fun meals to try. Enjoy!

It’s Been A Good 2 Weeks


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First of all. I made it to 80 the first of April and I thank all who helped me make it an awesome day! Parma Ridge Bistro and Winery for a super great dinner as always and the German Chocolate Cake! And Marnie and Eric for opening their house and the Open House. Thank you one and all!

The kitchen has been slow and moderately successful. If I must throw away “leftovers” then that tells me that it was not especially liked. But that’s just my opinion. So lets start with the German Chocolate Cake and homemade Cupcakes. Thank you Stephanie and Michelle. And a very special thank you to the Love of My Life, Robin – you always make these time so special!

German Chocolate Cake from Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro
Special Occasion Sweets by Michelle Smith, our Granddaughter-In-law Anna Shanner’s sister.

Now for the dinners. One of the better ones was a Salmon Papillote. Eric caught the Kokanee 2 days prior ton the meal and it was delicious! Moist and succulent.

Salmon Papillote right from the oven.
Salmon Papillote plated with a Green Salad and Carrots and Broccoli cooked in the papillote

And next there was an Indian Style Butter Chicken, a Rachael Ray treat that I “tweaked” somewhat. I added Kashmir Curry Powder that we make ourselves, which cuts the heat spice, somewhat. I also added some Sake. Here it is.

Indian Style Butter Chicken

And finally, we had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs leftover from the Butter Chicken, so I made some Chicken Rice Soup and I really liked it.

Homemade Chicken Rice Soup

So there you have some of the menus we had in the past week or so. The “not so popular” ones are not included. But enjoy these. I did. There is no recipe for the papillote. From Wikipedia, “En papillote (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ papijɔt]; French for “enveloped in paper”), or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. This method is most often used to cook fish or vegetables, but lamb and poultry can also be cooked en papillote. It is a combination cooking method of baking and steaming.

The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminum foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of paper or foil and folding them tightly around the food to create a seal.

The moisture may be from the food itself or from an added moisture source, such as water, wine or stock. The choice of herbs, seasonings and spices depend on the particular e being prepared.

The parcel can be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.”

“Chopped” In the Kitchen


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It is always fun to see what is in the refrigerator or in the kitchen, in general. This week was no different. No particular recipe, “Just Do-It!”. And I don’t usually post an advertisement within a post. But there are exceptions. This is one of them. “Oma & Popies” is very local to Boise, and is very good. But, Swiss Hibiscus, is a superb dressing and is totally produced in Portland, Oregon. You can call them at (503) 477-9224 and place an order, or use the link. If you are in Portland, or in the area, their address is 4950 NE 14th Ave, Portland, OR, 97211. This dressing is great on salads, but I like to dip French Fries in it or use it on baked salmon. Yum-O! OK. Enough of the ads (They don’t know I have this blogged!)

BP_30Mar2022_1d_Captains Shack_AF Fried Chix and Cabbage

Daughter Marnie, said she had some chicken and would make dinner. There was some cabbage that needed to be used so she made this delicious AirFryer Chicken with steamed cabbage. It was delicious!

There was some sea scallops – those are the big ones – and large, 16-20 count, shrimp, parsley and parmigiano that was begging to be used. So how about making a Scallop and Shrimp Alfredo. Easy one pot meal. Made it with fettuccini and and some white wine and served with chopped parsley.

Wife Robin asked for Chicken Fried Steak one night. Had some steak that needed to be used and some crushed saltines (won’t use saltines twice for this!), but they did not adhere to the steak like I wanted. Served with baked potato and peas and carrots. Good, but not Earth shattering.

And finally, meatloaf. Hard to find a good meatloaf. This was good, but a little too loose. This is what the crushed saltines were originally used for. A cup of milk in the mix is a little to much. Need to cut back to a half cup. Flavors were good. The salad was some canned beets from last summer, spinach and lettuce blend and had cooked eggs. All-In-All, a good, flavorful dinner.

Some More Dishes to Try


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Here are two really good meals we made. At least they’re good in my humble opinion. I liked them. The Fettuccini Alfredo our daughter found a basic recipe, but it looked a little bland, so I “adjusted” it a little. Added dried morels that were rehydrated in some white wine and added basil and fresh garlic. It was tasty. And the 2nd dish was Stuffed Peppers and i do like a good stuffed pepper. But Robin can not eat them. The last dish was 5 Hour Roasted Duck, which we all love! Take a look.


Fettuccini Alfredo

This was really a good dinner. As I stated above, I adjusted it. I used Half and Half instead of milk and added some white wine to the Alfredo. It was rich and smooth. Awesome flavor levels. Just be careful when adding the Half and Half that you don’t scorch it. Keep stirring gently. And I have never cooked pasta like this either. It worked fine.. (See the recipe) And too, I broke the dry pasta in half before adding to the pan. Easier for all to eat. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Stuffed Pepper

This was a great pepper. The pepper was cooked, but still somewhat “crunchy”, but not raw. The flavor levels were great. Not over powered by the herbs or a strong green pepper taste. If you are making one, and use a larger cooking dish, try using different colored peppers – green, red, orange or whatever is available. And then serve them in the cooking dish. There was just me eating this, so I cooked it in a Pâté pan, as pictured. Worked well.

5 Hour Roasted Duck

We all like duck. But it can be greasy. So if you like duck, try this one. 5 Hour Roasted Duck. It definitely is not difficult to do. Just takes a while. 5 hours! So plan ahead! Stewed the neck and any leftover vegetable parts and reduced it down to create the gravy. Use some pan drippings and wine, too. An awesome gravy. Serve with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy and thinly sliced fruit, left from stuffing the duck. While the duck is resting, cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm. And as a note, we have tried this with a goose, but it was not as good.

So threr you have it. Try them all and let us know how it turned out. Guten Abend!

Chopped In The Kitchen


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So you have some “stuff” still in the refrigerator that you don’t quite know what to do with. Don’t throw it out, unless, of course, it’s green and fuzzy. It’s not exactly Réchauffé – a dish of warmed-up leftovers, but more like Utiliser les restes – using leftovers. We have strawberries that need to be used, so we make Strawberry Waffles. And there is some Pork Belly, “… pork belly is uncured meat (while) bacon is a cured meat…(it is) the boneless cut that remains after the loin and spareribs are removed.” ( Just in case you wanted to know. So why not make an Idaho Benedict or a sautéed cabbage and apple to go with a Malheur River Meals ( ) pork chop? (Or you can get their products at the Boise Farmers Market or at Lark and Larder in Boise Good idea! So let’s take a look. Bon appetit! 


Strawberry Waffle

Strawberry Waffles are so delicious. I have made waffles from scratch but here I used Krusteaz, because I had some that needed to be used. Just altered it slightly with strawberry jam and 1 egg in the batter. Then when I cooked it, I put sliced strawberries in the batter plus more sliced strawberries on top of the waffle before serving. A dusting of powdered sugar, too. You can use other fruits, also, like blueberries.


Malheur River Meats Pork Chop with Braised Apple and Cabbage

This was a yum dinner. A Smoked Bone-In Pork Chop with Braised Apple and Cabbage. Caramelized the apple first in butter and brown sugar over med-high heat and watched it carefully so as not to burn the apple. Just golden brown. Then added some chopped cabbage and caraway and sautéed it all together. There were no left-overs from this dinner!


Idaho Benedict
Shredded potato in egg ring form
Potatoes browned

This was so differently good! If you like Eggs Benedict, try this version. Instead of a toasted English muffin, I used a potato pancake, of sorts. More like a latke than a pancake. I had the “cake” keep its shape and form by using an egg ring. Worked well. Cooking was a challenge to keep it from burning. Med high heat and used the rendered pork belly fat – some of it – to cook the potato in. Turned it over carefully when I noticed some browning on the edges. It really came out fine and was cooked all the way through. Then for serving, placed potato on plate, then one strip of thick cut pork belly broken in half, poached egg and finally Hollandaise Sauce. ( CIA Basic Hollandaise Sauce )

So there you have it. Another fun week in the kitchen!

Surprise Meals


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I think this week we really hit the Jackpot with some meals that we made. These are a real surprise and delicious. We liked them all! But then too, Shepard’s Pie is a favorite of every ones. I don’t particularly like yogurt, but the Mango Lassi that I had at a local Indian restaurant, the Bombay Grill in Boise, was absolutely delicious. And the Shrimp Omelet for dinner was a treat. Look at these. Enjoy.

The Breakfast for Dinner was simply a Shrimp Omelet with Campfire Potatoes, Toasted CROW Bread from Acme Bakeshop here in Boise and some Mandarin Orange sections. A standard 2 egg omelet, some 16-20 count shrimp cut into fourths and sauteed in butter with garlic powder and Old Bay seasoning and Eric’s Campfire Potatoes. No particular recipe. Play Chopped of the Kitchen and make do with what you have. I use an 8″ porcelain skillet for mine and clean the pan between omelets. (We have been on 5 cruises and I always watched the Line Chef make omelets to see how it is done. They always used a fresh skillet between omelets!) 

Mango Lassi

I do not like yogurt. But now, I can’t really say that anymore. This was delicious and I was introduced to it at the Bombay Grill, an Indian restaurant, here in Boise. The recipe, Mango Lassi, is really easy and the ingredients are probably available at your local grocery store. You can use either fresh mango or you can use mango pulp. Just remember that mango pulp has sugar added, so taste the pulp before adding sugar in the blender. Chill the drink and enjoy! It’s delicious!.

Celery, Candied Pecan and Apple Spring Mix Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Now this salad is absolutely delicious. The celery is cut super thin on the bias and the apple is sliced thin also. Not a difficult recipe and including getting everything prepped, it it takes about 30 minutes to make. Love the Spring Mix greens. Different flavor levels and textures. The recipe, Celery, Pecan, Apple Salad. And the recipe calls for Candied Pecans, so make your own Candied Pecansf. Not hard to do. You will love this salad. We have pared it with a Classic Shepard’s Pie as pictured above.

Classic Shepard’s Pie

And this Classic Shepard’s Pie was fantastic! Here is the recipe Classic Shepard’s Pie Such a classic meal and one that we all like. Easy to do. Traditionally it was made with lamb, but some folks mix 50/50 lamb and beef. They also use 100% beef. But we prefer the traditional lamb way. The potatoes are not peeled and are cut into small chunks to cook. Makes them easier to mash when they are smaller pieces. Just make them creamy smooth so they spread on the top easily.

Enjoy these meals and sides. We did.

Two Interesting Meal Ideas


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Here are two dishes we made this past week. Both are delicious and fairly easy to do, especially the salmon. Take a look.

The first is a baked salmon dish that does not have a specific recipe. This time we used a local Golden Plum Jam, but normally I use a MacKays Orange Marmalade. Just make sure the salmon is dry before you spread the jam, or marmalade, on the fish. Lightly salt and pepper the fish before adding the jam and then bake for about 7 minutes in a 375 degree F oven. Enjoy.

Golden Plum Jam or Orange Marmalade Coated Salmon served on a bed of Steamed Red Chard and Spinach.

Next we have a delicious venison backstrap pan roast with a special Blackberry Jam Sauce. A mixture of reduced blackberry jam, made from fresh blackberries from our daughter’s bushes last fall, and a good balsamic vinegar and apple cider. (See the recipe) OK. So your question is, “What is backstrap?”

Venison backstraps are a cut of meat that is found along the back of a deer; alongside the spine. They are often confused with a tenderloin cut of meat. While they aren’t the same as a tenderloin, they are considered one of the most tender cuts of meat of a deer. Also, known as striploin. There are 2 ways of dealing with a venison saddle, the most common is to prepare a venison backstrap or striploin. The difference between backstrap and tenderloin is, backstrap refers to a length of loin on the back of a deer, elk, moose, etc. It’s the ribeye in beef and loin in pork. Tenderloins are the two strips of very tender meat under the loin, behind the ribs.

Venison Backstrap plated with Asparagus and Mashed Garlic Potatoes

This dish would be awesome with a pork tenderloin, if you don’t have venison. Use the same recipe that is linked under the photo of the venison. If you use pork tenderloin, serve it with beets, either whole small beets or sliced, or sauteed cabbage.

Coq au Vin for Valentines


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Coq au Vin, Rooster in Wine, was my choice this year to make for Robin, my wife of almost 40 years, and Marnie, my daughter. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes some ambition and time. But it is well worth it. Delicious!

Just a few suggestions. Prep your ingredients first. I suggest paper bowls for your prep work. Take your time and don’t rush through this. If you are thinking of using an Instant Pot, try, instead, a large cast-iron skillet, at least 2″ deep and a glass lid, you can’t watch the cooking through a solid lid. The dish takes almost a constant vigil.

I used a package of frozen Pearl Onions instead of fresh ones that I would have to peel; heirloom carrots instead of the orange ones; Courvoisier Cognac instead of brandy; dried morel mushrooms reconstituted in the wine used for the dish instead of button mushrooms; pork belly cut into strips instead of bacon and for the beurre manie, I just added to the oil in the pan some flour for thickening. For the chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The original recipe, Julia Child’s, calls for you to cut up a chicken. (Still had to skin and de-bone the thighs.)

And this really needs to be emphasized: Watch your temperatures and don’t burn the sauce. Keep the liquid level just covering the chicken – use chicken stock, not broth, if necessary – and use a medium to low simmer temperature.

In my opinion, the dish has enough vegetables in it. So I did not use asparagus or rice to serve with it. I also served it with a dish of fresh cut fruit. Marnie had a Red Velvet Cake for dessert Try this and let us know what you think. We loved it.

Red Velvet Cake

Two Meals to Try


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Here are two meals we made. The first is probably one of the best alfredo sauces I have ever eaten. Not “gummy” with cheese, but rather clean and smooth. Shrimp went very well with the sauce. The second is an “Old Persons Meal”, of sorts. Fried chicken with garlic mashed potatoes with pan dripping gravy and garden green beans. Enjoy these.

The recipe calls for penne pasta, but we didn’t have any. So we used linguini which worked very well. The shrimp really added to the dish – you could probably use any seafood, scallops, lobster or Dungeness crab might be good, or other protein. Use your imagination. 

The Alfredo was smooth and creamy and not grainy. It added to the shrimp we used and did not conflict with it. Several flavor levels came through that were delicious.


Fried Chicken

I have had problems when frying chicken, but this one seems to have over come that flaw. I added some baking powder to the flour that I used to coat the chicken and beaten egg to dredge the chicken in before the flour. We also made sure the chicken was dry before dredging. Cook slowly over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side, taking care not to burn the chicken. Start cooking skin side down. We always use thighs, or second joints if you are on the East coast, bone-in and skin on.

The gravy was made from the pan drippings to which we added some flour and some wine. Made sure that was all mixed then added some half and half and completely combined to make the smooth gravy. It was delicious.

So there are two more meals from this past week. Next thing I am trying is Coq au Vin, Rooster in Wine. Probably not as good as Julia Child would do, but good nonetheless. Stay tuned and Good Eating!