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Smoke Signals Blog
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Paleo is one of the biggest diet trends at the moment and for good reason: people are getting great health benefits while eating really good food. The paleo philosophy and diet plan revolve around the idea that our bodies have evolved to handle certain foods: namely vegetables, healthy fats, and animal protein. (Read: Fantastic! All the bacon you want!) Who wouldn’t love this diet? Bring on the meat tornado.
Before you jump on the bandwagon, though, you should know about the flip side. The diet guidelines also suggest that our bodies haven’t adapted to digesting certain food groups and should be eliminated. On this list are: grains, dairy, sugar, and processed oils, just to name a few. If you’ve tried the Paleo lifestyle before, you know those restrictions can make it tough to pick healthy foods that are still delicious and packed with flavor. What’s a caveman to do?
Enter Smoky, Flavorful Paleo-Friendly Foods
Whether you’re just dabbling in the Paleo lifestyle or a seasoned pro, there’s no reason to eat the same boring old paleo staples over and over, or deny yourself some of your favorite foods. North Country Smokehouse has plenty of options that are Paleo-friendly while still having that deep smokiness and mouth-watering flavor you’re looking for. A caveman cannot live on hard-boiled eggs alone.
Remember how we said one of the best parts of going Paleo is all that bacon? Well, there’s a catch. A lot of bacon is made with sugar, either to add flavor or as part of the curing process. Some bacon you can find at the store is sugar-free, but falls flat in terms of flavor. And there’s nothing more disappointing than disappointing bacon. But never fear, cave dwellers, we slow-smoke our bacon to add incredible, mouthwatering flavor that doesn’t rely on extra sugar or artificial flavorings. Try wrapping a few slices of our Sugar-Free Applewood Smoked Bacon around asparagus spears and roasting or grilling them, for a quick, Paleo-approved meal that’s as flavorful and delicious as it is effective.
If you’re following a sugar-free or Paleo diet while also trying to keep your family fed, you know how hard it can be to come up with meal ideas that keep everyone happy. Enter our Old-Fashioned Natural Kielbasa, redolent with onion, marjoram, and other spices, and slow-smoked to perfection. Just slice up a few links, toss them with your favorite vegetables and a bit of olive oil, and dinner’s ready faster than you can say, “20 minutes in a hot oven.” You haven’t had vegetables until you’ve eaten vegetables roasted alongside Kielbasa, where they can soak up every bit of the smoky flavor.
When you’re new to a sugar-free lifestyle, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, eating the same old things on repeat, sacrificing flavor for simplicity and convenience. You can guess how we feel about that, right? Our Mexican-style chorizo is loaded with cumin, red pepper, and other Mexican spices, balanced with a hint of brandy, and packed with bold, punchy flavor. Served on a bed of grilled peppers, it’ll leave you saying, “Tacos who?” (Just kidding. It’s a little sad that tacos aren’t paleo-approved.)
Sugar-free and Paleo-friendly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. In fact, all of our sugar-free products are smoked low and slow to lock in bold flavors and give you plenty of tempting, mouthwatering options while sticking to your diet. Now that’s a lifestyle trend we can get behind.
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A Breakfast with Bold Flavor
We're all about simple recipes that bring folks together at breakfast table. Bacon & eggs belong together.
- 1 small white onion, sliced thin
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red tomato - chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
- 2 slices sandwich bread, cut or torn into small pieces
- 2 links North Country Smokehouse certified humane, Chorizo with Brandy sausage - diced
- 8 eggs
- 4 oz. diced cheese (we used Jack but any firm cheese would work)
- 1/3 C olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
2. In a large cast-iron pan, heat ½ of the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the red, green, tomato, and jalapeno peppers and a pinch of salt. Cook 2 minutes, then add the diced North Country Smokehouse sausage.
3. Cook together until the vegetables are softened and the diced sausage starts to color lightly on the edges. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a medium bowl until well beaten and uniform in color. Add the bread and diced cheese.
5. Once the vegetable mixture has cooled slightly, add it all to the eggs and stir to combine.
6. Wipe out the cast iron pan and add the second ½ of the oil. Heat over medium heat, then add the contents of the bowl and spread into an even layer. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until the edges of the frittata, pull away slightly from the pan.
7. Transfer to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the center is set. Allow to cool an additional 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan intact, or slicing and serving. Serve with fruit, hot coffee, a simple green salad.
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A popular alternative to basic burgers. This July 4th declare your independence from flavorless, dry sliders! This recipe is modeled on the White Castle square sliders and results in a juicy burger that fits all the way to the edge of the buns, which are held in place with melted cheese.
- 2 lbs. all-natural, ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
- 1 small white onion, finely grated
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- 2 TBS cold water
- 1 package of slider buns or dinner rolls, connected in a single sheet (we recommend Martin’s potato rolls or King’s Hawaiian Bread)
- 1 lb. sliced cheddar cheese
- 1, 12 oz. package of North Country Smokehouse Certified Humane Fruitwood Bacon
Measure your buns! Using a tape measure or ruler, measure the length and width of the sheet of buns or rolls.
In a bowl, gently mix the ground beef, salt, grated onion, peppers and cold water, just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX or your sliders will be tough and chewy.
Cover a cutting board with plastic wrap and sprinkle it lightly with water. Turn the meat mix onto the plastic wrap and gently form it into a rectangle that is 1 inch larger in both dimensions than the sheet of buns, and even in thickness.
Cover the top of the meat sheet with strips of North Country Smokehouse Fruitwood bacon in a single layer.
Pre-heat a flat griddle over medium/high heat on the stove or gas grill, or over a bed of glowing coals on a charcoal grill.
Lift the sheet of meat of the cutting board by holding the plastic wrap. VERY CAREFULLY in one smooth motion, flip the meat over, bacon side down onto the hot griddle. Cook for 3-5 minutes, lifting a corner with a spatula to see when the bacon is cooked.
While the meat cooks, slice the sheet of rolls in half horizontally to produce a sheet of tops and one of bottoms. Line the bottom sheet with a layer of sliced cheese,
Using two spatulas, very carefully turn the meat sheet over, doing your best to keep it intact. Cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads at least 158 degrees.
Lift the cooked meat sheet off the griddle and place it on top of the cheese-covered sheet of bottom buns. Top with any desired condiments and place the top bun sheet on top.
Slice between the buns to separate and serve immediately.
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With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s only right that we pay homage to the ultimate grill master. We’d bet that what he really wants is a relaxed day spent with his family, preferably in the backyard standing over a charcoal grill. Most definitely, he wants to be consuming the greatest, most delicious grilled meats he can get his hands on. To make it simple for you, we spend hours slow-smoking our meats and infusing them with deep, rich flavor.
What better way to show dad how much you love him than with juicy, slow-smoked sausage? We’re dishing out ways to make your Father’s Day meal extra special, so Dad knows how much you care.
Go for the Gold
The sky’s the limit. Get creative. Then, Dad can mix and match to his heart’s content.
No More Boring Sides
Do not, under any circumstances, permit lame macaroni salad or stodgy potato salad to sit next to the masterpiece of his BBQ. How about a flavor-packed pasta salad featuring more meat?
A double-smoked pepperoni packs a savory, smoky heat, lending incredible flavor to a pasta salad loaded with giardiniera, fresh mozzarella, and peppers.
Here are some more of our favorite sides to complement our flavor-packed sausages:
Brown Eyed Baker’s Best Ever Potato Salad (with Bacon!)
This Blue Cheese Coleslaw from House of Yumm
Julie from the Little Kitchen came up with this Sriacha Ranch Pasta Salad
Pair Dinner with Dad’s Favorite Beverage
Does pops like a stiff drink? Then the slightly spicy heat of our Chorizo is the perfect counterpoint to the sharp tang of a lime-infused, boozy libation.
If your dad’s more of a beer guy, our Harpoon IPA brats are an obvious choice, made with a bright, citrus-forward IPA for a unique, bold flavor. But for dads that love to try new things, our Andouille Cajun-style sausage is full of deep, spicy flavor and pairs well with the bright, crisp flavors of IPAs and lagers.
For dads who love a good vintage, try balancing our sweet, intensely-spiced Linguica-style sausage with a bright, crisp sauvignon blanc or even a bold, fruity rosé... ah, summer.
Whether you’re cooking for Dad or he’s retaining his hallowed spot in front of the grill this Father’s Day, make sure that what you’re grilling measures up to his exacting standards. Give him what he wants and deserves: high-quality meats that are crafted with care, smoked low and slow, and packed with delicious, mouth-watering flavor.