Welcome to Dustin's
Deliciously Wicked Wednesdays!
Each week, this page will feature one of Dustin's favorite recipes. Many of the recipes shared here are mentioned in the Dust & Ash Saga.
POST #6 Southern-style Biscuits and Sweet Sausage Gravy
The first inkling we get that Dustin might have some secrets is when a letter arrives at the farmhouse for him from the California Department of Corrections. Jared is the one who physically retrieves the letter from the mailbox, and he confronts Dust about it while he's fixing breakfast. That particular meal was biscuits and gravy, a time-honored southern tradition.
My spouse was born and raised in North Carolina, and his grandmother was kind of famous for her biscuits and gravy. This is her recipe, which I was blessed to inherit when I married him. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the board (if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
¼ t. baking soda
1 T. baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1 t. kosher salt (plain salt will work as well)
6 T. unsalted butter, very cold
1 c. buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks and cut it into the flour until it resembles coarse meal. If using a food processor, just pulse it a few times until this consistency is achieved. Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very moist.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board or clean, floured countertop. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about a half-inch thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a one-inch thickness. Use a round cutter to cut into circles. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you like soft sides, put them touching each other. If you like crusty sides, put the biscuits about one inch apart (these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together). Bake for about 10-12 minutes. The biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
This recipe makes approximately 10 biscuits.
Note: the key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you'll have tough biscuits. I've found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing (although Grandma never used a food processor, and her biscuits were always better than mine). You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
ALSO: you can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets, and freeze them for up to a month. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place the frozen rounds on the cookie sheets and bake at 450 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
Sweet Sausage Gravy
1 (12 oz.) package of maple-flavored sausage
3 T. butter
¼ c. all-purpose flour
3 c. whole milk
Salt and pepper
Place sausage in a large deep, skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan. Stir in the mutter until melted. Add flour, and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until light brown. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cooked sausage. Reduce heat, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. If gravy becomes too thick, stir in a little more milk.
Pour over biscuits and enjoy!
POST #5 Beef Enchiladas
Dustin was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I lived in California for a few years in Los Angeles and was lucky to go to San Diego several times. Like all of California, San Diego is beautiful. Since it's pretty far south, the weather there is amazing. It's also only a hop, skip, and a jump from Mexico. I can say with all honesty that the Mexican food I had in San Diego was better than any other – including Mexican food I actually ate in Mexico.
It's not very surprising, then, that Dustin's cache of standard recipes leans heavily toward Mexican cuisine. This recipe is one that's mentioned in The Boys of Summer. Dust makes spicy beef enchiladas that perfume the entire farmhouse, just like good Mexican food should do. This recipe also has the distinction of being supremely easy, so don't be afraid to give it a try.
1 lb. lean ground beef
20 oz. red enchilada sauce
4.5 oz. chopped green chilies*
1 package flour tortillas for soft tacos/fajitas (6-inch)
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish or pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in ½ c. of the red enchilada sauce, ½ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and the chilies.
Spread ½ c. of the enchilada sauce evenly in the baking dish. Spread ¼ c. of the beef mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1 T. cheese. Wrap tortillas tightly around filling, placing seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 5 servings.
* You can control how spicy your enchiladas are with your green chilies. Use hot chilies for a spicy dish, medium or mild for less, and if you really don't like spicy food at all, leave the chilies out entirely.
This is the simplest, easiest version of the recipe. You can change it up by adding fresh diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, diced green scallions, and/or diced avocado to your enchiladas after they've been out of the oven for ten minutes or so. You can also substitute green enchilada sauce for the red, or mix red and green together and use that. Experiment and find your perfect enchilada!
POST #4 FROZEN STRAWBERRY SALAD
This is the dessert Dustin fixes to go with the Spaghetti Squash. It's a great summertime dessert because it's cold, but it can be served any time. Apparently it sounded really good when I described it in the book, because a long-time reader asked for the recipe. Her request is one of the reasons I decided to do Dustin's Deliciously Wicked Wednesdays. Thank Carrie!
8 oz. cream cheese
¾ c. sugar (if you're looking for fewer carbs, substitute Splenda)
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
10 oz. strawberries (frozen or fresh)
½ c. chopped walnuts
3 bananas, sliced
1 large container of Cool Whip
Beat cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl. Combine pineapple, strawberries, nuts, bananas, and Cool Whip in a second bowl. Fold fruit mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into pan or dish (I like to use a 13 x 9 glass baking dish, but anything will work). Cover and freeze overnight.
Now, supposedly this recipe makes 12 servings. I can't say that I've ever seen that happen, and Dustin would tell you to half that – that it makes 6 servings. Plan accordingly, and enjoy!
POST #3 Spaghetti Squash
One of the first dinners Dustin fixes at the farm is spaghetti squash. It's a great low-carb substitution for pasta, and this recipe is both savory and filling.
2 medium-to-large spaghetti squash, or 3 small ones
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
4 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
6 oz (6 packed cups) baby spinach
2/3 c (2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
2 c marinara sauce
2 c (8 oz) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Use a sharp knife to cut off the tiptop and very bottom ends of each spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright and carefully slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half. Repeat with each squash. Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle the insides of each squash half with 1 t. olive oil and rub it all over the inside. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared backing sheet. Bake for 50 minutes, until the cut sides are turning golden and the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork. Leave your oven on.
While your squashes are baking, cook the spinach. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 T. olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté about one minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until it's wilted. Set aside.
Once the squash is done baking, fluff the interiors with a fork to make the insides spaghetti-like. Divide the spinach and Parmesan into the spaghetti squash halves and stir them into the squash. Season to taste with salt. Spread marinara sauce generously over each and top with mozzarella. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is spotty brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
*As with most of Dustin's recipes, this one can be adapted to use up leftovers. Just add your leftover vegetables to the garlic, before adding the spinach. You could also use chopped kale, chard, or collard greens instead of the spinach – those will just need a little more time in the skillet to soften.
POST #2 "Never-Ending Fruit Salad"
The fruit salad in the Dust & Ash Saga is kind of legendary. If you read the series when it was on Literotica or GA, then you already know exactly how erotic a good fruit salad can be. *wink* But you also know that Dust has to keep replenishing the bowl, because a certain stoned guitarist tends to hit it in the middle of the night to tame his munchies. Since fruit salad is a healthy snack (full of antioxidants!) it's a good thing to keep in your frig. You can, of course, just throw some fruit together and it's good, but this recipe will blow plain old mixed fruit out of the water.
Never-Ending Fruit Salad
1 lb strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
10 oz blueberries, washed
1 c green grapes, washed and halved
1 c red or black grapes, washed and halved
10 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice (or ½ a fresh pineapple, diced)
1 can Mandarin oranges, drained
3 T. honey
2 T. pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple, or fresh juice)
2 T. lime juice
Wash, and prepare all of your fruit. Add fruit to large bowl, preferably one with a lid. In a measuring cup, blend the pineapple and lime juices with the honey. Pour sweetened juice evenly over fruit. Carefully fold fruit several times with a large spatula, scooping the juices from the bottom to mix evenly. Refrigerate 4 hours. Before serving, use spatula to mix fruit again and redistribute the fruit juices in the bottom of the bowl.
Measure the remaining pineapple juice from the can (or use ½ c fresh pineapple juice) and mix with an equal amount of lime juice in a sealable cup. Add an equal amount of honey and mix well. Refrigerate.
At any time, refill fruit (in any combination you like) in the bowl. Mix the juice concoction well and drizzle 1/4 cup over full bowl. Refrigerate. Before serving, use spatula to mix fruit again and redistribute the fruit juices in the bottom of the bowl.
POST #1 "Kitchen Sink Omelet"
The very first time that Dustin cooks for Ash and Jared, he makes brunch: omelettes, hash browns, fruit salad, and toast.
In general, making an omelet is kind of tricky. There are two basic methods, one where you pull from the edges (think "country-style") and one where you whisk in the pan (think traditional French-style). Dustin uses the traditional method for a tenderer and less browned omelet. If you've never made an omelet before, then I suggest you watch this video. Seeing the two methods will help you decide which you want to try.
Dust's "Kitchen Sink Omelet" shares one common trait with a lot of his other recipes. It uses leftovers or partial ingredients. Two reasons for this: first, college students are poor; second, wasting food is a terrible habit to get into at any age. It's important to support sustainable living, regardless of age. Just because a recipe calls for half an onion doesn't mean you throw the other half away. So the caveat to the following recipe is that you can pretty much put anything in it: corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes (boiled, mashed, french fried), hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage - the trick is to make sure your leftovers are warm, soft, and chopped up.
"Kitchen Sink Omelet"
3 large eggs
2 T. sweet or green onion
1/4 cup spinach
1/4 cup diced tomato
2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
t. fresh parsley, chopped fine
t. fresh terragon, chopped fine
1/2 t. fresh chives, chopped fine
Melt 2 T. unsalted butter in a small skillet. Saute onion. If spinach is fresh, add it in and saute with the onion. When your onion is brown and your spinach soft, add the tomato and cook for one minute (enough to warm and soften your tomatoes). Add crumbled bacon and stir. Cover and set pan aside.
*If you're planning to use other leftover veggies that are fresh, saute them with the onion. If any of the veggies are cooked or canned, add them at the end to warm and soften them. You can also nuke them for 30 seconds in the microwave, chop them, and then add (this works well with leftover steamed broccoli).
Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add 1 T. water, pinch of salt, and pinch of pepper. Whisk with a fork until the egg whites are incorporated with the yolks. Add herbs. Mix.
Using omelet skillet (or a small 8-9" skillet), melt butter over high heat until bubbling subsides. Turn heat down to medium.
Pour egg mixture into skillet. Using a fork or a heat-proof rubber spatula, rapidly whisk egg around skillet until the bottom begins to set. This won't take very long.
Add filling from saute pan to one side of egg mixture. Use fork or spatula to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over filling.
Tilt skillet toward the filling, and either bang or flip egg over the filling, using the fork or spatula to help if necessary. Angle the skillet over serving plate and flip omelet onto plate.
This makes ONE OMELET.
If you're cooking for the Boys of Summer, be prepared to use up two dozen eggs.