Green Stuff

As a founding member and honorary Past President of the CIA, that being the Carnivory Institute of America I am, and all the rest of us at Miners Mix are hard core carnivores and look upon just about all green stuff placed on plates as merely a rest stop on the way to the compost pile out back. About the only veggies that are approved and sanctioned by the CIA are potatoes in their various forms such as French fries, hash-browns, Tater Tots, and chips, and once in a while, corn but just so long as it’s still attached to the cob. On rare occasions, unfortunately, asparagus or broccoli might sneak by as well. In general though, if it’s green, it’s gone.

In my opinion, one of the most useless of plant pieces regarded as a vegetable that your mom made you eat as a kid is the zucchini squash. About the only legitimate use for this thing is when it’s grated and made into bread or cakes where, through some kind of alchemy, it transmutes like lead into gold, from a vegetable to edible, which just happens to be CIA-Approved! Recently, however, astounding developments have shaken things up and begun to blur the lines between CIA-Approved and CIA-Non-Approved foods.

This disconcerting turn of events came about when my wife began to high-heat roast cauliflower (which because it’s white means that it’s 10X more yucky than green stuff). Somehow this heat treatment turns white cauliflower into crispy golden brown nuggets of meaty flavor that are actually…quite…good. Here’s the recipe for roasting cauliflower. I’ve found that I can eat pretty much a whole head of the stuff once it’s been heat-treated into crunchy meaty-like morsels.

As a born experimenter, my wife began to apply this mysterious heat-treating process to other green things and we’ve found that zucchini are especially amenable to this transmutation. The process changes that pallid whitish inner goop held within the green rinds, into golden, sometimes crispy wafers that are unbelievably tasty and meet strict CIA standards of gastronomy.

First one must slice the Zuke into about ¼” thick slices.  Next, put the slices in a Ziploc bag with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then season with a tablespoon or two of Miners Mix Original Steak and Veggie rub and shake well.

Sliced Zukes compressedZukes with Steak compressed

Next, arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or stone and bake at 350°F. Arranging zukes compressed

Check the oven in about 20 minutes and turn the cookie sheet or stone 180° and bake another 20 minutes. Check one more time and go another 10-20 minutes until the slices have been transformed into dark, golden brown wafers of goodness.

Zukes done compressed

Recently we’ve tried this mysterious procedure on unsuspecting carrots, mushrooms, and apples with pretty good results. I have to say that the carrots come out fantastically, with kind of a sweetish potato chip flavor that’s even better than the zucchini. The mushrooms end up with kind of a parmesan cheese flavor quality that’s very unique and very good. We plan to try in the near future rutabagas, turnips, plantains, bananas, and pears. Whatever vegetable we use will surely be dusted with our Miners Mix Original Steal and Veggie Rub; it seems to be magical on just about everything under the sun. Come football season this stuff is going to be on the snack menu for sure!

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About minersmix

In early 1849, Joshua Shelby was working as a cook in a fancy St. Louis restaurant. The hottest topic among the patrons there was the rivers of gold that had been found out in California. These seemingly easy pickins stoked a full-blown case of Gold Fever! The only cure was a pick axe and gold pan way up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains which lay far to the west. In mid 1849, Shelby loaded up his wagon and along with hundreds of other would-be prospectors he headed west to California. Eventually he settled in the Mother Lode region, not far from what became Yosemite National Park. Accompanied by his trusty mule Codie, and panning along the Merced River, Shelby found a little gold, but eventually grew tired of the backbreaking work. Looking around for something else to provide a living, Shelby realized that the gold mines and camps dished up awful, bland food that failed to stick to a man's ribs and about which the miners complained constantly. Falling back on his skills, recipes, and spice blends, Shelby took a job as a gold camp cook which led to local fame and a little fortune. He soon developed a reputation as a first class frontier chef famous for good 'ol fashioned home-style cooking. Joshua Shelby's trademark spice and rub blends were always chock full of flavor and new blends continuously evolved as immigrants of from far off countries arrived in the camps, some with exotic and rare spices with flavors he'd never encountered before.
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