Five More Cold Weather Oklahoma Eats
I don't know about you, but I love sandwiches. They're the best. Delicious, storable, and all around a good snack that travels well. But when it's cold outside, nobody really wants to chow down on a crisp and cold sandwich. It's understandable. But if you take just about any sandwich and toss it in a skillet with some butter, that becomes a rare cold day epic dish that's both easy to make and easy to mess up.
First off, you have to use cheese. Not cheese food. Not cheese product. It has to be cheese. I like the Kraft Deli Deluxe personally. It's real cheese that melts evenly and tastes delicious. It's also over $6 per pound, so use it sparingly.
Second, when using standard cut breads, us only one slice of cheese. There's no reason to make a grilled cheese sandwich a stringy, melty mess. That ain't right. If you're busting out the Texas Toast, then two slices is appropriate.
Third, you have to use butter. Margerine doesn't melt into oily goodness like butter does. It might taste like butter, but you'll burn your bread super quick and not in the good way.
If you have to use a sandwich press cooker, that's find. I like that hard over-cooked like chewy nub of cheese that always finds its way out of the seam. Also, if you want to really pack a punch in that sandwich, put in a little baby spinach and a very thin layer of mayo. It'll set your palate off in a whole new way.
I know, I know... Chili was also at the top of the first "5 Cold Weather Foods" list, but there is a big difference between chili and deer chili. If you know someone that hunts, offer to make them some chili out of it so you can weasel your way into some free venison.... otherwise you'll just have to get out there and harvest that meat yourself.
Although it's hard to mess up chili, believe me, I've done it. I've had to throw away whole six pound pots before. Keep it simple, loosely follow online recipes, or better yet, buy the chili kits if you're more comfortable with that. Don't overcook the deer meat, balance it with a good fatty sausage. When you want to skim the fat out of the crock pot, use a cold pack and dip it in the liquid. The fat will solidify on the cold pack and peels right off. That way you're not wasting your seasoned juice.
This one is super easy too. You basically make chili and add in a bunch of cumin without adding in a bunch of liquid, though a touch of chicken stock will toss your flavors into a new level of Tex-Mex.
You can even make it a truly cold weather eat by adding that chicken stock and either queso blanco or regular old cream cheese to the meat in the skillet to make a very rich and creamy taco soup. Just top it with cheddar and sour cream. Maybe even green onion if you're fancy. It's the bomb.
I get it. As we age into adulthood, the idea of eating bologna/baloney isn't super appealing. It's mystery meat. It's also delicious when prepared correctly in a glorious bath of smoke.
"But I don't have a smoker..." Psshhh
You don't need a smoker to smoke some bologna. You can do it on your grill. YouTube it. Smoked bologna is an increasing rarity in our growingly healthy culture, but with a good bark and thin slices, it's just about the best thing you'll put in your mouth this year.
Some like it with mustard, I'm not a mustard fan. I like mine with hickory smoke bbq sauce from Head Country - AKA - the only bbq sauce on the planet. Add a slice of cheese and slap it in some bread, it's amazing.
Protein and starch is a wintertime staple across the state. Back in the old days, potatoes were almost exclusively a cold weather dish because they'd keep in the root cellar all winter long. I like em grilled.
At least five hours before you toss your steak down on the grill, season it and let it rest in the fridge. Trust me, this turns a walmart steak into a steakhouse steak. Grab some of those tiny golden potatoes at the store, cut 'em into big chunks, toss them in a bag with olive oil, onion powder, garlic, thyme, lots of black pepper, a little salt, and a shake of cayenne and let marinade just like the steaks.
When you're ready to grill, wrap those oiled taters in tin foil and toss those on the grill first. Let them sizzle for a good ten minutes before you put your steaks on. When you flip the pouch over gently enough to not pierce the foil, then start your steaks on the heat. They'll both steam and fry in the bag at the same time. Let it rest just like you do the steaks, and when you spoon those golden lumps of magic onto your plate, you'll wonder how you've never thought of it before. Really delicious.