2 Classic Dishes: Kielbasa and Pierogis and Pork Wontons


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Actually I have never made either of these dishes before, so this was an exciting trip! The idea for the kielbasa dish came from Rachael Ray, but I radically changed some of the ingredients by adding additional spices and herbs and eliminating others. The sauerkraut, for instance, was to be one with cumin and caraway and if you could not find one like that, adjust it by adding a “scant” teaspoon each. I went to a 2 teaspoons each and it was wonderful. I also added turmeric and Riesling wine. I guess that’s the German in me. Here is the recipe for our CS Kielbasa and Pierogi Combo dinner – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Kielbasa-Pierogi-Combo.pdf

Kielbasa and Pierogi Combo ready for the oven
Dinner is plated

The second dish we made, my wife Robin came up with this one, I definitely have never made. It takes some time and effort,  but I think well worth it. It’s basically, ground pork, not sausage, fresh ginger and garlic, Shoyu soy sauce (Japanese) and green onions wrapped in wonton pastry. Care must be taken when frying these and not burn them. They should be a light brown color. Here is the recipe for these – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Pork-Wontons.pdf.


Filling the wontons. You might want to use a little shredded Napa cabbage in each one too.
The wontons sealed and ready to cook. There is more than one way to seal these.
The wontons out of the fryer. Notice they are brown and not burned. Keep your eye on them while cooking. They will burn quickly.
Presentation plate with Shoyu soy sauce with grated ginger.

So there you have two more dishes to try. The wontons might just make a good appetizer or “tailgate food” for a sporting event. Enjoy!

Shrimp, Beets and Lamb


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No. Not all at the same time, except for one dish which is a combination of two items. But first, let’s talk about lamb. Many people don’t like lamb and I can appreciate that. But I’m not so sure that folks are confusing lamb and mutton, which come from the same animal. Here are some differences from masterclass.com. Hope this helps. It’s mostly about time.

Mutton and lamb are two types of meat from sheep at different life cycle stages. Here are the main differences between the two types of red meat:

  1. Age: The key difference between mutton and lamb meats is the animal’s age. While mutton refers to the meat of an older animal (typically around three years old), lamb is the meat of a young animal (often around a year old).
  2. Flavor: Lamb is a younger animal, so the meat hasn’t had time to develop as much flavor—thus, it is milder with a faint, grassy flavor. Alternatively, mutton comes from an older sheep with more fat and muscles, giving it a strong, gamey flavor similar to goat, venison, or wild boar.
  3. Preparation: Due to its toughness, mutton tastes best when cooked slowly, which you can do using a slow cooker, slow-roaster, or meat smoker. In Kentucky, chefs sometimes use the mutton of older sheep for barbecuing. Lamb, however, is a tender cut of meat that benefits from a range of cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, and braising.
  4. Texture: Mutton comes from older sheep that have had more time to develop dense muscles and fat content, resulting in tough meat that can be dry or chewy. Conversely, lamb hasn’t had the time to develop much connective tissue, so the meat is often more tender and moist.

This is a wonderful dish which is fruity and a delicious way to prepare lamb chops. Especially thick cut ones.  We get our lamb from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa, ID. The beets – home grown -, Harvard Beets, is from a recipe that Robin came up with and they are wonderful. You can find her recipe at Robin’s Harvard Beets. This makes a wonderful dinner and is a great paring. Any good, jammy Zinfandel will pair well with the lamb. We used a Once & Future Zinfandel (Joel Peterson)


Once again. A delicious Asian type Panko Sesame Shrimp with Broccoli. The photo shows broccolini. That’s all we had so we used it. I think broccoli florets, as the recipe calls for, would be much better. Broccolini tends to be a little “woody” and can be hard to eat. The original recipe called for ginger powder – I changed it to fresh grated ginger and also added some garlic cloves.

The next recipe I want to try is adapted from Rachael Ray, Kielbasa and Pierogi Tray Bake. Problem is, I am having a hard time locating frozen potato pierogis. She used red, yellow and orange peppers, but Robin can not “handle” those peppers, so I have changed it to Poblanos. She has no problem with Poblanos. I also will change the high hot pepper level to 4 drops of Sriracha, which should “tame” the dish, somewhat. We are not particularly fond of hot, spicy foods – Carolina Reapers, habanera or Thai Chilies – so we tend to go light on those hot spices. But you can adjust to your liking when I get the recipe complete.

Enjoy this post and the recipes. Good eating!

Update on Sources and New Dishes


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captains-shack-pipe-signed-Walkway-LMPI pretty much failed to list my sources in the Boise area for beef, pork, eggs and lamb. Some of them will even ship to you. Check the links.

For beef I am using 2 different sources. The newest source for some awesome beef products is Van Lith Ranch, http://vanlithranch.com 200 S Pennsylvania Ave, Fruitland, Idaho 83619. (208) 452-3826. We had a fabulous standing prime rib from them. “At Van Lith Ranch, we raise ultra-premium grass-fed, grain-finished beef here in Idaho. Our family ranch is located on the banks of the Payette River where three generations of Van Liths have been raising beef cattle for over 70 years. We use that generational knowledge and experience to hand-select only the highest of quality animals for our Van Lith Ranch line of meat and that personal attention and dedication shows in every mouthwatering bite.”

Another fabulous source for beef and pork is Malheur River Meats, http://malheurrivermeats.com 4276 John Day Hwy, Vale, OR 97918.(208) 573-1058. Awesome beef, but fantastic thick cut, bone in pork chops. They even have pork chops for stuffing which are cut even thicker. They carry eggs, too, in season. And, you can get a change in red meat by eating buffalo from Browns Buffalo Ranch in Nyssa,  https://cunninghampasturedmeats.com/vendors/browns-buffalo-ranch. Great meat, especially the steaks and hump roast.

For eggs and lamb, awesome lamb chops, we use Meadowlark Farms Idaho, https://www.meadowlarkfarmidaho.com/ 9904 Southside Blvd, Nampa, Idaho. 83686 (208) 466-4806. A superb source for outstanding lamb products.

BP_10Jan2022_1a_Captains Shack_Waffle Benedict

And speaking of eggs, Meadowlark Farms eggs make an awesome Hollandaise sauce and Eggs Benedict. Just look at these. This was delicious! Even went so far as to try Jacque Pepin’s style. Think I will use it again and again and again!

Not local by any means. Braised Scallops on a bed of Spinach and Chard with a light Béchamel and a Cucumber and Radish Salad with Sour Cream. Such a yum dinner. Served with a wonderful and well pared 2020 Parma Ridge Winery Chardonnay, http://www.parmaridge.wine/. They also have an awesome bistro at the winery. Superb food along with the superb wine. But make a reservation first. Check the link. Happy cooking! (BP-MJ)

Some Meals We Have Enjoyed


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Sorry for the long delay in getting articles or recipes posted. It’s been a crappy Fall, but things are returning to normal now. I will create this post, as I have done in the past with all posts, with a good description of the dish and a link to the recipe that we have created. Most of the recipes, however, are original only to the point that we have altered the original recipe to fit our needs. Most of the recipes presented here and on this blog, have a note attached to them “Source: adapted from (some other recipe)“. At least then, you know where you can find the original recipe. Please, as in the past, feel free to use and try any recipe presented and let us know how it came out and if you liked it or not.

Let’s start with a great soup. Did you ever see the movie Tortilla Soup? Well here is the recipe for that soup, Tortilla Soup http://www.rockinrs.com/Tortilla-Soup.pdf. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of it. This is fun to make – you can make it as spicy as you want – and great eating. We love it!

And to start the main course off, how about Roasted Prime Rib of Beef? Really easy to do, but be sure you follow the cooking directions exactly. Recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Prime-Rib.pdf. This recipe calls for an herb butter and we used our Herb de Provence, http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Herbs.pdf. Use it liberally and mix well with room temperature butter. I even went so far as to, after adding the herb butter and salt, to dry brine this in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Came out great!

And here is a great leftover prime rib dish, Leftover Prime Rib Beef Stroganoff. (recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/Leftover-Beef-Stroganoff.pdf) The original recipe called for Baby Portabella mushrooms, but we had some dried Morel mushrooms collected this past Fall and I reconstituted them in a little vodka and used some of the liquid in the sauce.

Leftover Prime Rib Stroganoff

Total time to make this dish is about 20 minutes, not counting preparing the egg noodles or rice. If you would prefer not to use noodles, you can always use rice. If you use rice, I would probably use Basmati or Jasmin. Either way, we loved this and will make it again. Delicious flavors and easy to do. I even had someone tell me they have made a similar stroganoff with leftover meat loaf.

For the last of the prime rib, you can also make a delicious and scrumptious Prime Rib Soup. This is almost a one pot meal. Hearty with the barley in it. Great on a cold winter day. Just takes some time to make, about 3 hours and 15 minutes. But well worth it. Great herb combination in it. Here is the recipe – http://www.rockinrs.com/Prime-Rib-Soup.pdf

Prime Rib Soup

It takes a little time, but well worth it. The barley is really a great addition. That pretty much uses up the prime rib leftovers. But, there are 3 different meals from this cut of beef.

The last dish is a very German entrée. It is a Spinach Spaetzle with Speck, a German bacon. You can find the recipe here – http://www.rockinrs.com/Spinach-Spaetzle.pdf. Enjoy!

Spinach Spaetzle with Speck

This is a big, hearty meal that will satisfy most big appetites. The speck gives a wonderful flavor the the spaetzle a great texture. We used a store bought spaetzle because I don’t have a spaetzle maker. We bought the spaetzle and the speck from a German shop here in Boise.

But wait! That’s not all! What about dessert? How about some Pecan Shortbread Cookies? http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Pecan-Shortbread-Cookies.pdf

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

A great shortbread treat full of toasted pecan bits, almond extract and a little rum, that is not in the recipe. I don’t usually do this, but our neighbor has a cookie business and they are good. Her business name is Crumb by devlyn and can be reached at (910) 405-4718 or emailed at crumbbydevlyncookies@gmail.com (No. I made the shortbread cookies!)

Enjoy these dishes. They are all good and worth a try. gutes Essen in German or biadh math is Gaelic. That covers my heritage.

Beef Stroganoff


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We recently made/created a version of the classic Beef Stroganoff as pictured above. (The recipe can be found here – http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Stroganoff.pdf). The original recipe did not call for vodka. But this is a Russian dish, so vodka is a must. We did not, however, use the traditional potato based vodka, but rather a corn based. An entirely different flavor level and profile. Seems to me to be more inline with White Lightning. The button mushrooms cut into about 1/4″ slices. Also, we added some chopped fresh rosemary, which was awesome.But look at the recipe and see what you think. We are always open to suggestions.

And then one morning, Robin asked for an Avocado and Tomato Omelet. Never thought of this combination, but it was really good. No, did not cook the avocado or the tomato, Serve with a good fresh fruit mix. In this case, blueberries and cantaloupe. CROW bread toasted from Acme Bakeshop in Boise. Great combination.

Two Great Meals


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Two Great Meals

This potato salad,the recipe is located here Chef Lou’s Potato Salad, is full of vegetables. (Pictured above) You can use veggies, or not, or choose your own. The salad has an awesome dressing of mayo, apple cider vinegar and Dejon mustard. I also added some fresh lovage to add to the “celery” flavor. Try it. Easy to make. I chilled the cooked potatoes before adding them to the sauce/vegetable mix. I also cut the potatoes in “bite sized” pieces before cooking them. Try using new potatoes and quarter them.

The second wonderful dish we made was a Shrimp Salad. (Pictured above) This was a great, summer salad and it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Full of vegetables and shrimp and with a creamy sauce. I added frozen peas and corn to this salad which gave a a nice texture and flavor. I also used some fresh lovage in this, too. You could probably use lobster instead of shrimp, if you are so inclined. We served it with baked Orange Kokanee – salmon – (7 min at 375 degrees F) for 7 minutes. Toasted Sourdough Wedges with butter and garlic.

Well there are two meals you can play with. Have fun and enjoy! Just don’t forget: If it is on a plate, it is edible! Don’t ever put something on a plate that is not edible.

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Cream of Asparagus and Leek Soup and Bobotie


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Cream of Asparagus and Leek Soup

We came across this awesome asparagus and since we have a contact to pick some – 75 pounds worth – and after some were canned, we made this awesome soup. Changed it slightly, I added some bacon for another layer of flavor and it was super. Not hard to do. Great with the fresh asparagus you are picking. Here is the recipe. Try it and see what you think, http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Asparagus-Soup.pdf

Bobotie – A South African dish

Then we tried this South African dish, Bobotie. We like it with lamb, even though the recipe calls for beef. And we change the chutney to apricot jam and julienned dried apricots. We also made our yellow rice with turmeric. The rice: For this Basmati rice, which we browned in butter before we added water, and then brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to a slow simmer and covered it. Took about 15 minutes to cook it. Here is the recipe. Enjoy! http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Bobotie.pdf

From Wikipedia, “Today, bobotie is much more likely to be made with beef of lamb, although pork can be used. Early recipes incorporated ginger, marjoram and lemon rind (zest); the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for chopped onions and almonds to be added to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas (yellow raisins). It is often garnished with bay leaves, walnuts, chutney and bananas. Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity. For example, the dried fruit (usually apricots and raisins/sultanas) contrasts the curry flavouring. The texture of the dish is also complex, the baked egg mixture topping complementing the milk-soaked bread which adds moisture to the dish. Bobotie is usually served with “yellow rice”, which is rice cooked with turmeric.

A very good Pappadelle Dinner


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Pappadelle with Red Wine Ragu and Toasted Sourdough with Garlic

We came across this recipe from two different sources, one was Chef Jacques Pepin, and then we adjusted both recipes to make this one. It was delicious! We added a little chervil (French parsley) and Herbs de Provence, which we blend ourselves. We also added a little ground pork. Next time, too, I may add some diced garlic cloves. It is missing in this recipe, excerpt for the Garlic Toast (Acme Bakeshop Sourdough).

The other item that you may want to contemplate is the type of Passata – tomato sauce – you use. I like Cento Traditional, but I also like Rao’s Traditional and Mutti. Any of these are good, but if you prefer to use your own that you have made from all those seasonal Roma or San Marzano, then do so. Please though, when you puree the sauce, leave the skins on.

So here is our recipe. Enjoy it. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Pappadelle-Red-Wine-Ragu.pdf Let us know your opinions.

Some Recipes That We Suggest


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captains-shack-pipe-signed_LMPIt’s been awhile. But we are still here. So I think it will be a good idea to look at some of the recipes we have been working on. Some of these recipes call for Herb de Provence and we prefer to make our own. Keeps it to our liking. You can see the recipe here http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Herbs.pdf. Just remember the 3-1 ratio of using fresh versus dried herbs. For instance, if your recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of an herb and all your have is dried, use only 1 teaspoon of the dried. (3 teaspoons=1 Tablespoon).

Since summer is right around the corner and BBQ is probably in the back of your mind, here is a recipe for some awesome baked beans. We use a mix of canned Cannellini Beans, Kidney Beans and Black Beans. A wonderful blend of tomato sauce, molasses, brown sugar and dry mustard. Jack Daniels Black Label Bourbon also goes well in this mix. Here is the recipe for these great baked beans. Enjoy! http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Stovetop-Baked-Beans.pdf.

5Feb2021_1a_Captains-Shack_Erics-Rib-SauceAnd if you are doing a BBQ or Grilling – we love St Louis Style Pork Ribs grilled – then try Eric’s Rib Sauce to slather on the ribs and to use as a dipping sauce. It is awesome! http://www.rockinrs.com/Erics-Rib-Sauce.pdf. Please note. The recipe calls for a special cider, Basil/Lemon. It is a local (Boise) brand, Stack Rock Cidery. These ciders are available, whether this brand or not, at most grocery stores. They may have different blends. Find one you like or you can use your favorite apple cider vinegar. Just add your favorite herbs.

And if you are in mind for a beef stew, try http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Beef-Stew.pdf, CS Beef Stew. It has the Icelandic herb lovage in it. A celery tasting green herb. If you use fresh – dried is available – be careful of the amount. The 1 cup chopped that the recipe calls for, is plenty and even at that, you might want to cut back to 3/4 cup. It is great in stews and soups.

7Mar2021_1_Capt ains-Shack_HalupkiAnd then there is Halupki. A Ukrainian stuffed cabbage leaves that means “little pigeons”. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Halupki.pdf This dish comes from our neighbor and we have slightly altered it. It is simply delicious. It takes right around 3 hours to prepare, but is well worth it. “The name “golubtsy” came to Russia and the region around it in the 18th century when the aristocracy traveled back and forth to eastern Europe. In France, pigeon was wrapped and cooked in cabbage leaves and stuffed cabbage rolls where then called “golubtsy” because the dish resembled the French dish.” [Wikipedia] Note: there is no “G” letter or sound in the Ukrainian language. Therefore this dish is called “Halupki” in the Ukraine. 


Easter Boneless Leg of Lamb

You say you like lamb? No? Then you probably have been eating mutton. The difference is in age. Lamb is generally less than 1 year old, whereas mutton is everything else. This one is simply delicious for those who like lamb. Maybe those who say they don’t like it, may learn to eat it using this recipe.  Enjoy this lamb. http://www.rockinrs.com/Lamb-Rosemary-Garlic.pdf

29Jan2021_1_Captains-Shack_Shortbreaqd Pecaan CookiesAnd now some dessert! How about Pecan Shortbread Cookies? Yum. To give the pecans some extra flavor, roast them on s sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Watch them – Don’t let them burn. Here is the recipe. Enjoy. http://www.rockinrs.com/Pecan-Shortbread-Cookies.pdf

And that does it for now. Brought you at least somewhat up-to-date, and I “learned” this new format, somewhat. Cheers.

Bacon Blueberry Waffles


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I have been asked how do I make Blueberry Bacon Waffles and the answer is rather straight forward. For the bacon I use Falls Brand Thick Sliced and for the waffles I use Krusteaz but with a twist. I add 1 egg and I use 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup water in the batter. This is not really necessary but I think it makes the waffles better. Light and delicious. Here is how it is done. Enjoy!

Cut 1 strip if bacon per waffle into quarters.

Fry the bacon on the waffle iron to your doneness level.

While the bacon is cooking, place the egg and jam – it can be any and I use either Huckleberry or Blueberry for these waffles.

Add the flour, milk and water to the egg/blueberry mixture and mix well, but don’t over mix. There can be some lumps.

Pour the batter over the bacon in the waffle iron. Add blueberries, close the lid and cook.

Serve with blueberries on the waffle, syrup and basted eggs. A hearty breakfast.